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DateLine Tuesday, 13 January 2009

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Solidarity demo by BASL

President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka W. Dayaratne yesterday on behalf of the BASL unreservedly and vehemently condemned the assassination of Attorney-at-Law cum Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremetunga and called upon the authorities to bring the perpetrators before justice without delay.

He made this condemnation at a demonstration attended by Attorney-at-Law against the assassination of Wickremetunga organised by the BASL and held in front of the BASL at Hulftsdorp.

The President of the BASL stated that their demonstration was nothing to do with politics and their move was not to support any political party nor for the benefit for any political group but to stand against violence to one of their members cum journalist who stood by the truth.

Dayaratne in his speech said that the right to life and right to expression is guaranteed by our Constitution and all those rights should be secured.

The BASL had stood bravely at certain previous such occasions as at the assassination of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya, Kanchana Abeypala, Sepala Ekanayake, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Ravi Raj etc.

At the murder of the Attorney-at-Law Wijedasa Liyanarachchi the BASL members bravely went near the Court premises with coffins and burned them in protest. We also protested when the houses of the judges were stoned at the recent attack on the house of Attorney-at-Law J.C. Weliamuna and the attack on Wickremetunga's house ten years ago.

Former Attorney General Shibly Aziz PC at the protest stated that Lasantha Wickremetunga was a forthright writer.

He was very critical and did not respect any Government, any political party.

This infuriated his enemies and he was gunned down by unknown persons. "We have to come forward to stop this cycle of violence." Attorney-at-Law Chrishmal Warnasuriya stated as the members of the BASL they would stand up on any occasion when the fundamental rights of any civilian guaranteed through the constitution were violated.

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