Monday, July 13, 2009

Traitors in black coats flocked together ?

Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd, publishers of the Sunday Leader newspaper was charged with Contempt of Court for publishing an article comparing Secretary of Defence, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa with Velupillai Prabhakaran, who was responsible for the death and destruction of over 100,000 civilians, despite extending an assurance in Court not to publish any defamatory content in reference to the Secretary Defence and the Sri Lanka Forces. The article in question was published minus a by line, which is a rarity in professional journalism.

Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd was given time to show cause and the case was heard yesterday 9 July 2009 at the Mt. Lavinia Courts before the Additional District Judge Mohammed Macky. The original Defence team had voluntarily resigned from handling the case citing it was against their ethical and moral standing to oppose a national hero like the Secretary of Defence, with whose unwavering commitment and focus Sri Lanka is a free country today.

A new team comprising of some who have a history of appearing for and defending LTTE suspects in the past, namely Srinath Perera, Upul Jayasuriya, S. Sumanthiran, Attorney-at-Law Viran Corea, Attorney-at-Law instructed by Athula Ranagala,Attorney-at-Law appeared for Leader Publications.

It was the observation of some senior independent Lawyers who were present in court that day, that this team of Lawyers share a common anti-patriotic sentiment fired by pro UNP activism and following. One such Lawyer speaking to the media mentioned his disbelief and shock at the manner in which these Lawyers had banded together in the face of prima facie proof of Contempt of Court. As a respected senior member of the legal fraternity, he opined that the behaviour of these Lawyers was an insult to the whole profession and totally unacceptable at a time when Sri Lanka is enjoying its veritable independence after 30 long years. He went to the extent of branding these Lawyers as traitors of the nation.