New Judicial complex opened in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 October 2007, 22:05 GMT]
The World Bank funded newly built five story Judicial Complex located in the central part of Jaffna town was officially opened Wednesday 10:55a.m. by Chief Justice (CJ) Sarath N. Silva. A high level delegation of officials including Minsterial dignitaries, and World Bank Representative in Sri Lanka arrived at Palaali airport, and were then flown by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter to Duraiappah Stadium for participation in the opening ceremony.

The dignitaries were escorted to the Judicial Complex by Sri Lanka army (SLA) armoured vehicles, and there was heavy presence of SLA troopers and police personnel in the vicinity.

Justice Ministry Secretary and Rehabilitation Commissioner S. K. Gamlath, Judicial Services Commission Chairman T. W. R. Jeyathilaka, and Law and Justice Reform Planning Director Ms. Kamini Gunawardne also participated in the ceremony.

Earlier, new check points were constructed on the main avenues of entry into Jaffna town such as Main Street, Jaffna-Point Pedro Road, Jaffna-K.K.S. Road where SLA troops conducted intensive search of the area since Tuesday noon, in preparation for Wednesday's event.

Speaking at the opening ceremony CJ said that he has had talks with Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapkase regarding amending the 13th Amendment and that he believes that this move will help in finding an amicable solution to the ethnic crisis.

CJ also expressed hope that this building will be a blessing to the people in the peninsula to meet their legal needs. Mr.Sarath Silva also said that he was pleased to note that the speedy construction of this building in this area experiencing daily bomb blasts, was completed during his term of office.

The newly built five story complex is located close to Duraiappah Stadium, Jaffna Esplanade, Jaffna Central College and Jaffna Public Library in the heart of Jaffna town.

The earlier building in this location housing several Judicial Sections was destroyed in the 1987 military offensive. The new complex was built after the 2005 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Sri Lanka State. The Magistrate Court, District Court, Additional Courts and Appeal Court, all presently functioning in temporary locations, will begin operating in the new complex of the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, arrangements have been made to house the civilians seeking protection with Jaffna Human Rights commission (JHRC), presently kept in protective custody in Jaffna prison, in a Rehabilitation Camp established in the former Appeal Courts building located in Kurunagar. The building was officially opened Wednesday by Civil Appeals Courts Magistrate Mr. S.Swarnarajah. SLA had issued orders Wednesday early morning banning the gathering of general public in the area and large number of troopers was amassed in the vicinity of the courts building.


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