ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 44

Devote a week free for the needy, BASL head tells lawyers

President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) Nihal Jayamanne, PC yesterday called on lawyers practising throughout the country to devote at least one week of the year to provide free legal service to thousands of needy litigants.

From left: Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, K.C. Kamalasabeyson, Nihal Jayamanne and Solicitor General C.R. de Silva during the BASL’s 33rd Annual Convocation at the BMICH. Pic. by Ranjith Perera

He exhorted lawyers to support the Law Week programme launched by the BASL saying that the exhibition held last November with 77 stalls run by Ministries, Government Departments and institutions with legal clinics saw thousands of people from all walks of life obtain redress for problems they had for many years.Speaking at the BASL Convocation 2007 at the BMICH last evening, Mr. Jayamanne said that in an analysis conducted among ordinary people in 49 villages spread throughout the country, problems relating to land accounted for 17 per cent, family problems - 4 per cent and problems connected with obtaining birth, marriage and death certificates, and obtaining the National Identity Card accounted for 54 per cent.

Referring to recent legislation to decentralize the Appellate jurisdiction, Mr. Jayamanne said that there was a need to combat the law's delays, by sending back thousands of appeals that had hitherto come to Colombo, to the provinces from where they came, and to keep those appeals within those provinces. This would benefit the people and help effectively dispense justice, he said.

Mr. Jayamanne said the BASL refuses to be "politicized" and implored lawyers not to be motivated by political considerations, calling for a "strong and independent Bar".

He paid a special tribute to Attorney General K.C. Kamalasabeyson, PC who was presiding over his last Convocation, having done this task for eight consecutive years.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.