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To: The Members of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka

Sep 17, 2011 2:57:26 PM - thesundayleader.lk

I decided to come forward for the Presidency of the Bar Association after much thought, deliberation, and discussion with colleagues, including both seniors and juniors.  There were some requests from senior members of the Bar for me to step forward even some years ago but I declined because I believed that the Bar was not ready for me but that there will come a time and I said as much.
Within the Bar Association itself there is criticism that it has been reduced to a welfare organization far removed from its original concepts which included the grandeur of independence, the administration of justice, intervention proceedings before Courts, and so forth.  This is not the fault of any particular individual or set of office bearers of any given period. It seems more that turbulent national events have sped past us and few of us took the trouble to pause in our day to day activities to take heed and consider the impact of these events on the Bar Association itself in particular and the nation at large in general. So, the Bar Association sank deeper and deeper into a self indulgent and indifferent existence while the nation rushed past it and left it behind as a social icon and nothing more. And, that is what we have become- a social icon and nothing more.
But, within the Association, its potential vitality still survives in the form of brilliant lawyers holding senior Chambers, and competent junior Counsel without a vision for the future. So, we are now at the cross roads- either blaze a new trail back into public confidence and awe, or simply continue our slide into oblivion.  I chose the first option and hence my candidature. I owe no allegiance to any political party.
As I have said before, there is no quick quack remedy for our ills. The reactivation of the Bar Association will require fearlessness in adversity, sacrifice in crisis, and belief in its own strength. The Bar has been kind to me and this is my offer in return.

Tirantha Walaliyadde
President’s Council
September 2011