BASL ‘deeply disturbed at the alleged criminal conduct’ of Ratwatte

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) says they are ‘deeply disturbed at the alleged criminal conduct’ on the part of Lohan Ratwatte, ‘which seriously calls to question his eligibility to hold office in the government.’

In a statement, the BASL says they understand that Ratwatte has tendered his resignation from the office of State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Affairs and not from the office of State Minister of Gem and Jewellery related Industries.

The BASL said allegations that Ratwatte forcibly entered the prisons at Welikada with other persons and that he flew to Anuradhapura and forcibly entered the prison there and intimidated prisoners at that prison are acts of gross impunity and a threat to the rule of law. 

‘The allegations against him are such that Mr. Ratwatte can no longer command the trust or responsibility of not only a government minister charged with duties in respect of prisons, but also as a minister holding any other portfolio and as a Member of Parliament,’ the statement says.

‘Such acts of impunity are ones which should be investigated fully and impartially and if proved be visited with penal consequences. It is imperative that independent and impartial investigations into these alleged criminal acts are conducted expeditiously,’ the BASL statement further said. 

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