The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has unanimously condemned a news item on the Defence Ministry’s official website that describes three lawyers as “traitors of the nation”.
BASL secretary U. R. de Silva said the association had met yesterday and its members had called on the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to remove the news item with immediate effect.
The three lawyers – Upul Jayasuriya, Srinath Perera and S. Sumanthiran – were called “traitors” for appearing on behalf of The Sunday Leader Publications in a defamation case filed by the Defence Secretary.
The website ran the news item under the headline ‘Traitors in black coats flocked together?”, carried photographs of the three lawyers, and commented on the lawyers’ professional integrity.
“This is an insult to the legal profession as well as to lawyers. These lawyers are reputed lawyers,” Mr. de Silva said.
The case came up for hearing on July 9 at the Mt. Lavinia Courts, before Additional District Judge Mohammed Macky. Sunday Leader Publications has been given a date to file objections.