Sri Lankan judge pistol whipped, colleagues strike

COLOMBO Sun Oct 7, 2012 2:48pm EDT

Related Topics

COLOMBO (Reuters) - A senior Sri Lankan High Court judge was beaten with pistols and hospitalized on Sunday, triggering a one day strike by the island nation's judges, who were already angry at perceived political interference in the courts.

The victim of the attack, Judge Manjula Tilakaratne, last month complained of pressure on a judicial commission he heads that can appoint and transfer judges and magistrates, after it rejected an invitation to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Rajapaksa condemned the violence against Tilakaratne and ordered the police to bring the perpetrators to justice, the government said in a statement.

Political violence has eased since the army crushed the 30-year-old Tamil Tiger rebellion in 2009, but international human rights groups say serious rule of law problems remain, with abductions, attacks on media and government critics not uncommon.

"He was attacked by four gunmen asking if he was the secretary of the Judicial Service Commission," a judge who visited Tilakaratne in the hospital told Reuters, asking not to be named for fear of reprisals.

"He was attacked with pistols on his face and manhandled."

Judges will not work on Monday in protest at the attack, a judicial association said in a statement.

The police said a special operation had been launched to track and arrest the culprits.

Tilakaratne has said he received death threats after he complained last month of intimidation on the judiciary, following a decision by the commission to suspend a district judge. (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Will Waterman)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (2)
gregbrew56 wrote:
Anybody believe they’ll actually find the perps?

Oct 07, 2012 3:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
princeH wrote:
Sri Lanka’s biggest head is controlling local under ground Mafia and thugs and his family is dictating the Media and the local rules and security. This judge who got beaten will never get any justice. People who are with the big head are untouchable by any justice system. Media and Police’s hands are cuffed.

but country is gradually developing and better than before since there is no any war anymore. very good tourist destination. one of the best I have been. Very friendly peoples.

Oct 08, 2012 12:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus