Foundation Stone laid for the new building for the Attorney General’s Department

 

The foundation stone for the new building of the Attorney General’s Department was laid by the Hon.Chief Justice Mohan Pieris PC at the invitation of Attorney General Palitha Fernando PC on 5th September 2014. Present on the occasion along with the Hon. Chief Justice and the Hon. Attorney General were Solicitor General Mr. Y.J.W.Wijayatilake PC and other officers of the Attorney General’s Department, Secretary to His Excellency the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, Secretary to the Ministry of Justice Mrs. Kamalini de Silva, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Mr.Upul Jayasuriya, Secretary to the Judicial Services Commission Mr.Sisira Ratnayake, Judges of the High Courts and District Courts, Magistrates and other distinguished invitees. 

The event commenced with religious observances conducted by religious dignitaries of all faiths and the laying of the foundation stone took place at the auspicious time following which the commemorative plaque was unveiled by the Hon. Chief Justice.

Speaking on the occasion, His Lordship the Chief Justice stated that the Attorney General’s Department plays a pivotal role in the administration of justice in the country and that many do not the know the yeoman services rendered by its officers. He observed that inspite of the limited facilities available to the officers, they performed their duties most efficiently and said that more facilities should be provided to them and that the construction of the new building was timely. The Hon. Chief Justice called upon the authorities to provide the necessary financial and other assistance in order to complete the construction without delay. On a personal note, he recalled his days in the Attorney General’s Department both as a State Counsel and as Attorney General and said that he is indebted to it for the training and nourishment he received as a lawyer which has stood him in good stead and said that being able to facilitate the obtaining of land to construct the new building was a small gift in showing his gratitude.

Attorney General Palitha Fernando PC in his speech stated that the construction of the new building was a long felt need and said that the officers of the Attorney General’s Department were working under trying circumstances and went on to explain the difficulties faced as a result of lack of space. He explained how he was managing with a cadre of just 170 officers inspite of the workload increasing tremendously and that it has not been possible to recruit more officers due to space constraints. He went on state that he learnt from a recent visit by a delegation of officers from the Attorney General’s Department of Vietnam that it had 7000 officers with a population of 90 million in the country and said that Sri Lanka with a population of over 20 million has only 170 officers in its Attorney General’s Department. He said that the construction of the new building will enable the officers to discharge their functions more effectively and thanked His Excellency the President, Secretary to His Excellency the President and other officials for the support extended in this connection.

The new building which is to be built close to the Superior Courts’ Complex  will comprise of chambers for the Attorney General and Solicitor General with a VIP lounge and conference room on the eighth floor, a state of the art auditorium and a library on the ninth floor, 06 chambers for Additional Solicitors General, 20 chambers for Deputy Solicitors General, 03 chambers for State Attorneys, 20 chambers for Senior State Counsel, 40 chambers for State Counsel, mini conference rooms, an administrative branch, accounts branch, transport division, canteen and dining rooms for the legal staff as well as the non-legal staff. Basement 1 and 2 will be car parks.

The Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB) will be the Consultant for the project and construction will commence shortly and is expected to be completed within three years.