Sri Lanka Police and CID still investigating into the unidentified group who assaulted JSC Secretary
Sri Lanka Mount Lavinia Police and Criminal Investigations Department is still investigating into the unidentified gang of four people who assaulted the Judicial Services Commission Manjula Thilakarathne.
The secretary of the Judicial Services Commission Manjula Thilakaratne was assaulted by a group of four unidentified men in Mount Lavinia this morning, the Police sources said.
Thilakaratne has been assaulted near St. Thomas’ College in Mount Lavinia while he was inside his car which was parked on Hotel Road in Mount Lavinia. Police Headquarters said an unidentified person had got down from a car and have come and assaulted Thilakaratne with a pistol while he was reading a newspaper in his car between 8.30 am-9.00 a.m. today.
Police noted that the victim had come to drop his son and wife at St. Thomas’ College as his son was participating in a table tennis tournament.
In his statement to the Mount Lavinia police, the secretary had said that the suspect had assaulted him with a pistol saying ‘So you’re the one’. The suspect had then got into the car by taking Thilakaratne’s mobile phone and fled the scene. He had immediately then informed the police emergency unit and the police officers had taken him to the Colombo National Hospital in his car. Thilakaratne had sustained injuries to his face and fingers of the right hand. According to hospital authorities Tilakeratne is in a stable condition but was not available for comments.
Minutes after the assault on the Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem had strongly condemned the assault as an act that is likely to trigger far reaching repercussions.
The move came after nine days since Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Secretary Manjula Thilakaratne said on 28th September that there was a danger to the security of all of them and their families beginning from the person holding the highest position in the judicial system.
“A situation has arisen where there is a danger to the security of all of us and our families beginning from the person holding the highest position in the judicial system,” Thilakaratne had told reporters that time. Denying the allegations leveled against him and the JSC, he said the media statement issued by him on September 18 might have led to a mudslinging campaign against him and the JSC. “I absolutely reject the malicious and baseless allegations leveled against me and the Judicial Services Commission these days. We see the only reason for this malicious mudslinging campaign was the media statement issued by me on the directions of the Judicial Services Commission,” Thilakaratne told at the time.
Thilakaratne had earlier issued a media statement criticizing the alleged intervention in the judiciary by the executive. But on the other hand reports revealed that on 26 September the Cabinet of Sri Lanka had discussed the possibility of initiating disciplinary action against the JSC Secretary over a complaint.
The Government of Sri Lanka today also condemned with disgust the attack on the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), allegedly by an armed group. Sources at the Government Information Department said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take action to bring the perpetrators involved to justice.
Meanwhile on the 28th of December Sri Lanka Bar Association (SLBA) held a protest demonstration before the Colombo Fort magistrate court against the interference into the judiciary process. Hundreds of lawyers participated in the protest held this afternoon outside the Hulftsdorp court complex.
A large number of lawyers who participated in the protest urged the authorities not to interfere in the judiciary saying it could lead to the end of democracy in Sri Lanka. Association’s Secretary Pradeep Gamage said that time the Lawyers Association decided to engage in this protest with the objective of safeguarding the independence of the judiciary. “Safeguarding the independence of the judiciary is one of the key responsibilities of the lawyers. So, we request the authorities not to interfere with the judiciary,” Attorney-at-Law Gamage had told reporters.
Attorney-at-law Nelson de Silva expressing his views had said interference in the judiciary could be considered as the end of democracy.
On the sidelines reports note that Sri Lankan earlier President Mahinda Rajapaksa had said at a breakfast meeting with the media chiefs on 27th September that he had received complaints regarding conduct of the Secretary of Sri Lanka Judiciary Commission. Further the President that time asserted that there is no political interference of any kind on the country's judiciary as some have alleged.
The SLBA on September 22 adopted two resolutions regarding the independence of the judiciary. The resolutions are to protest the interference over the Judiciary Services Commission and to appoint a committee to look into the statements made by the state-owned Independent Television Network and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation regarding the Judiciary Services Commission.
The committee said it will probe whether the statements by state-run media amount to contempt of court.
- Asian Tribune -