Lawyers want 17th Amendment implemented

The National Lawyers Association met in Colombo on Friday and called on the Elections Commissioner to implement the 17th Amendment and more particularly the Article relating to the use of State resources and the media at the forthcoming Presidential elections.

The Association at its AGM also called upon candidates to declare their assets and the assets of their immediate family members and to disclose all State resources used by them and their agents in their election campaign.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Gen. (retd.) Sarath Fonseka were among the guests on the occasion. The Association also condemned the Government for allowing journalists and politicians to be abducted, assaulted and even killed, and for allegedly conniving in the suppression of the investigations and creating a culture which encourages the extra-judicial killing of alleged criminals and even mental patients.

The declaration also said the Government has blatantly violated the Constitution, by failing to appoint the Constitutional Council, and failing to appoint the Elections Commission in addition to openly using State resources and State institutions at all times, and particularly at elections, in violation of the Constitution and the election laws.

“This Government has crippled the functions of the Bribery and Corruption Commission, by not providing the necessary funds and personnel, and has thereby propagated bribery and corruption at the highest level of the Government”, the declaration said.

The Association condemned the holding of thousands of persons in camps as refugees.

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