Lawyers for Justice, the People’s Voice | Daily News

Lawyers for Justice, the People’s Voice

The Lawyers for Justice (LFJ) is a new organisation which takes action to help people win their rights, especially human rights and consumer rights etc. without limiting their fight to protect the people’s rights only to monthly press briefings. The organisation will focus on the current issues of the country and the people, the LFJ President Attorney-at-Law and Unofficial Magistrate Ravindra Manoj Gamage told the media in Colombo recently.

According to him, the case of the teen domestic aide who died of burn injuries at the former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s residence is one of the hot topics in the country at the moment and teachers’ online strike is another such issue.

"The Lawyers for Justice stands for the rights of the deceased child and her parents. Recently, a gentleman who held a press conference stated that the girl child aide had given a statement before she died and according to that statement, the law cannot be enforced further. This statement is totally wrong and unacceptable. Bathiudeen was a Cabinet Minister in the Yahapalana Government and is now in custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The law should be enforced against such a person. No one knows whether the so-called statement given by the child is valid because who knows whether she was conscious at the time of the production of the statement. It is very suspicious whether a child who is dying in pain can be conscious to give a statement with a clear mind," he said.

He pointed out that it is not understandable at all why this gentleman who held the press conference is scared this much and why he tries his best to hide facts and figures. By now it is revealed that a senior police officer had tried to bribe the deceased’s parents by offering Rs. 50,000 in order to stop the progress of this case. That makes us suspicious as to who took the statement from the dying girl and under whose instructions, who are the doctors connected to this incident and especially whether those doctors informed the police about the statement etc. This deadly and also ugly incident was revealed to the country, thankfully, by the mass media.

“One of the very important factors considered by the judiciary is the past conduct of any criminal. The former Minister Bathiudeen was at home before he was arrested recently. Therefore, he should be one of the main suspects of this incident. The second post-mortem will reveal many facts,” the LFJ President said.

“A person who had connections with the deadly suicide bombers who were responsible for the Easter Sunday bomb attack series which killed around 350 innocent people including many flower buds-like children cannot be treated as a baby. Strong, in-depth investigations should be carried out on one of the Yahapalana regime giants who is now in custody. We expect the independent police officers to bring concrete evidence against the culprits who are responsible for the death of the innocent poor child domestic aide. We need to tell the gentleman who says that the case cannot be proved, that like some previous instances where other evidence helped to prove crimes, this case can also be won with other evidence. Today, ‘Yukthiya Udesa Kanthawo’ (Women for Justice) is nowhere to be seen. They were in the Galle Face Green amidst heavy rains against various other issues in the past. The LFJ will provide free legal aid to the parents of the deceased child, if required,” Gamage said.

“By now, the entire world is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the world’s superpower, the US, and other powerful countries such as the UK, Germany and France etc. are also severely affected by the disease. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa did not have enough time to work as the whole world, including Sri Lanka was hit by COVID-19 just after he came into power in 2019. We need to give time and opportunity for this Government to work because this Government has been working on everything while fighting the global pandemic,” he said.

“Various powerful, secret and invisible elements which were not there during the past four and a half years are now coming out. They have various demands, protests, etc. They have launched a wave of strikes against the Government. Earlier, it was nurses and now it is teachers. When the Government resolves this, definitely, another group will start another strike. It is sure. This is because of the conspiracy now in progress against this Government,” the LFJ President pointed out.

“All people have the right to launch strikes. But there is a right time for that. Demanding a salary hike at this moment is not justifiable at all because our country is facing severe difficulties due to this global COVID-19 pandemic together with the rest of the world. The trade union leaders are responsible even if a single teacher dies from COVID-19 because they brought teachers into streets in order to get dollars to their bank accounts,” he said.

“We are here today because of our teachers and they are Gods. They have become the victims of those who play with human lives in order to earn dollars. The most pathetic fact is that these trade union leaders who are after dollars can put the blame on the Government, if in case, one or a few die even if it is them who are responsible for forcing the teachers to come into streets, violate health guidelines and become vulnerable to COVID-19. They supported the LTTE before 2009 and acted in the same manner. Now they have started their ‘job’ once again. This is purely the ‘JVP terrorism’. It was not there during the past four and a half years,” he said.

“The teachers who are as same as ‘the God’ should remember their responsibility as citizens. They have to think about their country before their salary. If the fourth wave of COVID-19 hits, the country will need to be closed putting the lives of all people, including labourers, masons, etc. who earn a daily wage in severe difficulties. They will not be able to feed their families,” LFJ President Gamage added.

Attorney-at-Law Major (Rtd) Charitha Siriwardena said that the Government should not fulfil the demands made by the teachers to increase their pay to instigate the JVP and similar destructive elements at this stage. The Government’s hands are full trying to contain the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and they also have somehow kept the economy on track. So, during a time like this, it is unfair to demand such pay hikes from the Government and these types of fights are seen nowhere else in the world. The people should love the country at all times, support the country and also support the Government when it deserves the support. But here what has happened is that the JVP is shedding crocodile tears for the teachers. The JVPers have never loved the people of this country. A couple of decades ago, they slaughtered the people of this country indiscriminately and destroyed public properties as never seen before.

“I think they have now launched another outdated revolution of their type. The Government should be mindful of this. The JVP always needs poverty to exist. They would never allow the Government to eradicate poverty. For example, the fish needs water to survive. This time their revolution is without arms. Instead, they are using the COVID-19 pandemic as their weapon and hold the poor children to ransom. Because of the pandemic, the people have been ravaged and so many people have died and others are at ICUs at this very moment. The livelihoods of poor people have been adversely affected by the pandemic for over one year. The only consolation they had was online education available for their children. Now the JVP has stopped that as well,” he said.

“The Government should not tolerate this any longer and take stern action against the JVP. Consultants have already warned about another wave with the deadlier COVID-19 Delta variant. The public health of the entire country will be jeopardised. It will have a direct impact on the National Security and the JVP which brings thousands of protesters into the streets has become a threat to the National Security. The Government should impose all possible rules, regulations and laws to stop this. Why the people gave a thumping mandate to this Government during two previous elections was not to dance according to the JVP’s tune. It is to fulfil the aspirations of the people. Therefore, the people should not find fault with the Government when the Government takes stern action,” Major (Rtd) Siriwardena said.

LFJ Vice President Attorney-at-Law Dr. Kanchana Silva, LFJ Deputy Secretary Attorney-at-Law Buddhika Samarasinghe, and LFJ Executive Committee Members Attorneys-at-Law Geethma Fernando and Nadee Naakandana also addressed the media.

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