Sri Lanka judges, magistrates, lawyers on strike over assault

Oct 08, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s district judges and magistrates are striking Monday, while several lawyers associations had decided to keep away from court work, over the assault of a the secretary of the island’s independent judicial services commission.

Sri Lanka abolished a civil service commission, which was in charge of appointing, transferring and disciplining public servants in a constitution enacted in 1972 and transferred the task to a cabinet of elected rulers, leading to the deterioration of rule of law and justice.

In a 1978 constitution the task was transferred to the President. The moves killed the institution of permanent secretaries of ministries which analysts say destroyed the independence of the public service and led to arbitrary rule and lawlessness.

An attempt was made to correct the situation and rebuild a public service through a series of independent commissions but the commissions were abolished through another change to the constitution.

Media reports said lawyers in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo would engage in a sit-in process in the main courts complex in Hulftsdorf and march to the main railway station.

On Monday Manjula Thilakaratne, secretary of Sri Lanka’s Judicial Services Commission and a senior judge,