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Responding to the threats exerted by the Cabinet Minister Rishad Badurdeen on the Mannar Magistrate (Mr. A. Judeson), the Lawyers for Democracy (LFD) urges the President to remove the said Minister with immediate effect. Confirmed information discloses that the Minister has interfered with the course of justice and threatened the Magistrate and thereafter the court houses came under attack. The LFD is shocked to learn of the incident where the Minister had intimidated the Magistrate and obstructed the administration of justice. In case no. 396/12, the Magistrate has made judicial orders and the law requires the Authorities to carry out the order of the court. A minister has no lawful authority whatsoever to interfere with course of justice. While the courts were in session, the attack was carried out and the courts were damaged, by an organised group of people, instigated by the Minister. This is the first time in the history of our judiciary that such direct threats and physical attacks has taken place. This is an indication of the level of deterioration of the Rule of Law in the Country. LfD also reiterates the need to protect the institution of Judiciary and reminds the public of the constitutional duty on all organs of the state to respect and protect the judiciary. Whist condemning the actions of the errant Minister and his goons, we are hopeful that all political parties, the civil society, the media and the individuals will be united, leaving behind their differences, in urging for stern action against the Minister and the group who attacked the court houses. We urge the people to take all possible steps within their powers to restore Rule of Law, democracy and constitutional values in the country.
Lal Wijenayaka, KS Ratnavale, Lakshan Dias, Chandrapala Kumarage and JC Weliamuna (Conveners on behalf of the LfD)