The Judicial Service Association of Sri Lanka (JSASL), the sole organization representing all the District Judges and Magistrates in the country, has expressed its dissatisfaction regarding the President’s decision to appoint former Assistant Secretary General of Parliament Tikiri Jayathilaka and Senior State Counsel Nayani Nirmala Kasthuriratne as High Court judges.
In a letter to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the JSASL is of the view that these two appointments could negatively affect the public’s confidence in the judiciary and the rule of law in the country.
It is said the JSASL, during a special executive committee meeting, convened on June 1, took a decision to express its dissatisfaction against these two appointments, which result in detriment to the independence of the judiciary, especially the independence of the judges of the trial court. The JSASL said the President had made these appointments disregarding its request in a letter dated May 26, 2023.
The JSASL maintained that Mr.Jayathilaka’s exposure to a non-legal institution was deemed to be a disqualification to reassume duties as a member of the judiciary at any future stage.
The JSASL further maintained that the officer from the Attorney General’s Department is a very junior officer compared to the judicial officers, who are next in line in judicial seniority.
“It is a known fact that for most of the career judges, the appointment to the High Court has become the only career prospect. As such, this situation has resulted in frustration and disappointment among the judicial officers who have served throughout the country for years”, the JSASL recently stated.