| by Prabhath Saha Bandu
(November 19, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It was with shock and dismay that we watched mayhem in the Colombo High Court yesterday after the judgment in the White Flag case was delivered. Hell broke loose when former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and defeated presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka was sentenced to a three-year jail term. An unruly mob invaded the courthouse and wreaked havoc hurling as they did abuse on the judicial officers. Sadly, among the troublemakers were some members of the black coated fraternity.
One has a democratic right either to accept or to reject a judgment. But, dissent has to be expressed within the confines of the law without judges being abused or the judiciary brought into disrepute. There are both proponents and opponents of yesterday’s judgment and the latter should have acted with restraint.
The trial-at-bar judges have given reasons for their decision with one of them dissenting. The defence lawyers have said they will appeal against the judgment. That is the way to set about the task of challenging a verdict. Hoodlums must be kept at bay.
The rowdies who ran amok in the courthouse did Gen. Fonseka no good. They must be brought to justice immediately.
( The writer is the Editor of the Island, where this piece originally appeared )