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Scintillating Lawyers



A Malaprop was the butt of many a joke. But he was a jolly and pleasant man, a lawyer with a successful criminal and civil practice. Like Apey George of Kandy, he is now dead, but the stories about him live on. One day he appeared in a case where his opposing counsel kept on distorting every argument he had put forward. Unable to stand it any longer, he sprang wrathfully to his feet, and addressing the Magistrate thundered, “Sir, my learned friend has got the wrong end of my stick!”

Another day he appeared for some prostitutes who had been rounded up by the police and produced in Court. As the Magistrate was about to remand them, he hastily got up and told the Magistrate: “It is not necessary to remand these ladies, Sir. They are available to the Court any time.”

In his later years, he was quite toothless, and one day he was cross examining a witness for the prosecution in a highway robbery case. In order to drive home the point that the witness’ eyesight was so poor that he possibly could not have seen what he had just described to the Court, this lawyer held up two fingers and said: “What can you see?” “I can see two fingers, and behind them a ‘Lomba,” replied the witness. ‘Lomba’ is a derogatory term for a toothless person).

On another occasion, he appeared for an accused, charged with stealing coconuts. The Magistrate found the man guilty and asked the defence lawyer whether he had anything to say in mitigation. “Yes sir,” replied the lawyer. “They were very, very small coconuts, Sir, only this much in size!” said the lawyer, demonstrating with his hands.

There was a maintenance case, and this lawyer appeared for the wronged wife. As he was pressing the claim of the wife for maintenance, her husband’s lawyer interrupted to charge that she was living in adultery with another man, and had delivered a child just a month earlier and that she had been separated from her legal husband for two years. The lawyer for the woman said he was shocked at his friend’s allegation and asserted that his client was an honourable and virtuous woman. At this the husband’s lawyer challenged the opposing counsel to ask his client whether she had delivered a child a month before.

After consulting the woman, the lawyer told the Court, “Yes sir, a child had been delivered but it’s hardly worth making a fuss about. You see sir, it’s a very, very small child, only this size!” said the lawyer, once again demonstrating with his hands.

He appeared for an accused who was charged with intimidation, but when the case came up, an amicable settlement was arrived at. As the parties were about to leave, the lawyer for the other side who was an MP at the time, sneered, “Your client should be very happy about this settlement, for if the case went to trial, things would have been very difficult for him. He is an I.R.C.” The accused’s lawyer objected vehemently to these uncalled-for remarks, and the lawyer MP challenged him to ask his client whether he was an I.R.C. or not. Thereupon the lawyer walked up to his client and questioned him, and the man confessed that he was an I.R.C. Addressing the Court, the lawyer then said, “Yes sir, he has I.R.C. after his name, which makes him a man of letters, and therefore fit to be even an MP!”


A cynic once remarked that a lawyer was one who instigates two people to fight in the nude and runs away with their clothes.

A doctor, a lawyer and an engineer were fellow passengers on a ship. Suddenly, the vessel hit a rock and began to sink. A lifeboat had broken its moorings and was drifting out to sea, and seeing it, the doctor shouted, “Look, look! An empty lifeboat and it’s drifting away!” “Don’t worry,” said the lawyer, “I’ll get it!” Diving into the water the lawyer swam easily and unhurriedly towards the lifeboat. “Oh, my God! Look!” gasped the engineer, pointing a frantic finger at the fearsome black fins of a school of sharks circling, ominously, the swimming lawyer. But the lawyer reached the lifeboat without mishap, climbed in and rowed back. “They didn’t harm him!” cried the engineer happily, “The sharks didn’t harm him!” “Yes” said the doctor drily, “professional courtesy!”


At Law College, the lecturer told his students. “When you are appearing in a murder case, if the facts are on your side, hammer them to the jury. And, if the law is on your side, hammer it to the judge.” “What if neither is on your side?” asked one student. “Then, you hammer the bloody table.”


There was once a criminal lawyer with a very lucrative practice, but alas, he was a wee bit absent-minded. “One day, he rose to his feet and began addressing the Court. “Your honour”, he thundered, “I know this accused very well! He has the reputation of being one of the most barefaced scoundrels and the most impudent rascals …” There was a sudden flurry of excitement and dismay at the bar table, and the lawyer’s junior tugged as his sleeve, “Sir, sir”, the junior said frenziedly, “we are appearing for the accused, not the complainant. Without batting an eyelid, the lawyer continued. “That is what everybody says about this accused, your honour, but I ask your honour, who is the man, however great and good, however honest and law-abiding, who hasn’t been, like the innocent accused here in the dock, vilified unjustly by his fellow men?”


I. M. Ismail (later Justice) was accorded a felicitation dinner by the Galle Bar on his appointment as a Commissioner of Assize. It was presided over by a retired Commissioner of Assize who was quite corpulent and broad of girth. The late A. Mampitiya, classics scholar and a leading lawyer of the day proposing the toast of the Chief Guest, quipped: “Gentlemen, tonight we have the honour of having ‘two’ Commissioners with us. One a Commissioner of Assize, and the other a Commissioner A-size.”


On another occasion the Galle Bar gave a complimentary dinner to a well-known lawyer who had reached a milestone in his long and illustrious career. This lawyer had a loud voice, and in a bad case, his modus operandi was to bowl out and shout down both opposing counsel and witnesses. Proposing the toast of the Chief Guest, another leading lawyer said, “My learned friend’s advocacy is always sound, and nothing but sound!”

A veteran lawyer, noted for his quick wit and repartee, was cross-examining a witness, a very rich and colourful personality, in a land case, when the Court adjourned for lunch. After lunch the cross-examination was resumed.

“Witness, I put it to you that you are drunk.”

“I am not”.

“I am told that you had two whiskies over lunch.”

“That’s a damn lie! I had four gins!”

“Tell me, witness, why do you drink?”

“That is my pleasure”

“But don’t you think it is injurious to your health?”

“I prefer to drink and die!”

At this, the presiding Judge, J. F. A. Soza (later Justice) then Additional District Judge of Galle, quipped, “Today, Greek has met Greek! Please carry on.”


The lawyer’s side in the Galle Law – Medical Cricket Match of 1972 was captained by the then District Judge of Galle (later Justice), J. A. F. Soyza. The doggerel describing him in the Law-Medical souvenir was:

‘Ye medicos beware,

Bat and bowl with care.

He’s the Captain of our team,

And though he’ll not be mean.

He’ll permit the loss

Of only the toss!’

The vice-captain of the team was George Rajapaksa, then a Cabinet Minister. The doggerel describing him was:

“Captained Royal,

Always loyal,

Glutton for runs,

Centurion more than once.

Loyal George!

Royal George!”

At a seminar in Colombo, a legal luminary said that he had once received the gift of a ceramic beer mug and on it was painted the following verse:

“Doctors do little,

Lawyers less,

Policemen and Analysts

Add to the mess.”


Lawyers are expected to be shrewd and quick of mind. A young man who had just passed the Bar examination was being interviewed for a job by a prestigious law firm. “What would you do” a partner asked, “if a prospective client asked you for advice on a subject you knew nothing about?” “I would tell the client,” the young man replied without hesitation, “Give me a retainer of Rs. 1000.00 and call me in the morning.” He was chosen for the job.


Two friends were taking a balloon ride. Suddenly, the wind dropped and the balloon began to descend rapidly. They saw a man standing in a field. One of them called out to the man: “Where are we?” The man shouted back: “In a balloon.” The questioner turned to his companion in the balloon and said with disgust, “That man is a lawyer.” The friend asked, “How do you know that?”. The other said, “Why? His answer was short, concise, accurate and utterly useless.”


A lawyer and a doctor were attracted to the charming girl-receptionist of the hotel where they dined. One day, before setting off on a one-week vacation, the lawyer presented her seven apples, in keeping with the familiar expression ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’.


Malapropism originated with Mrs. Malaprop, who was a character in one of Sheridan’s plays, who took astounding liberties with the Queen’s English. A client wanted to retain a certain Malaprop for a case, and went to see him one morning at his residence. Since he didn’t have enough to pay the Malaprop’s fee, the client promised to bring the balance in the evening at about five. “No, no,” said Malaprop. “Don’t come at five. At 5.00 I have to go for a murder. Come at 6.30 or 7.00. The shocked client hurried away. Not wishing to have anything to do with the Malaprop after the murder, he visited the man at about four that evening, to find him dressed in spotless white. It was then that it struck him that when the Malaprop said ‘murder’ what he had actually meant was ‘funeral’.


One of our most brilliant criminal lawyers was well known for the stupendous fees he charged.

When the lawyer quoted an astronomical fee, the client nearly fainted and asked him “Why so much sir?” “Well …” said the other, “that includes my junior’s fees as well.” “Sir, is a junior necessary?” “My dear man if my car gets stuck on my way to Court, who is there to push it?”


Justice Barber was the presiding judge at the Kandy Assize sessions. And, an interesting and a controversial case was to be heard before him. His wife, daughters and sons and same nephews and nieces were all present in Court that day to listen to it. The famous Kandy Lawyer, Cox Sproule, who came to Court, saw the judge’s family gathering and exclaimed “My God! Is this a Supreme Court or a barber’s salon!”


A government servant was the accused in a certain case, and when the Magistrate told him that the nature of his offence was such that he would have to remand him for fourteen days, his lawyer got up and said: “Sir, I beg of you not to remand him. My client is holding an important government post and if you remand him, he won’t be able to do the job for 14 days!”

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ICC arrest warrant; a setback for authoritarian rule



‘All-weather allies’: President Xi Jinping meets President Vladimir Putin.

As should be expected, the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Russian President Vladimir Putin on war crimes allegations has given rise to a widespread debate on how effective it would be as an instrument of justice. What compounds the issue is the fact that Russia is not obliged to cooperate with the ICC, given that it is not a signatory to the Rome Statute which outlaws the crimes in question and envisages punitive action for signatory state representatives who act in violation of its provisions.

Predictably, the Russian side has rubbished the ICC allegations and its arrest warrant on the basis that they are totally irrelevant to Russia, considering that it does not recognize the ICC or its rulings. However, the fact remains that important sections of the international community would be viewing Putin and his regime as war criminals who should be shunned and outlawed.

The possibility is great of the Putin regime steadily alienating itself from enlightened opinion the world over from now on. In other words, Putin and his cohorts have incurred a heavy moral defeat as a consequence of the ICC’s arrest warrant and its strictures.

Morality may not count much for the Putin regime and its supporters, locally and internationally, but the long term consequences growing out of this dismissive stance on moral standards could be grave. They would need to take their minds back to the white supremacist regimes of South Africa of decades past which were relentlessly outlawed by the world community, incurring in the process wide-ranging sanctions that steadily weakened apartheid South Africa and forced it to negotiate with its opponents. Moreover, the ICC measures against Putin are bound to strengthen his opponents and critics at home, thereby boosting Russia’s pro-democracy movement.

However, the Putin administration could earn for itself some ‘breathing space’ at present by proving the ICC’s allegations wrong. That is, it would need to establish beyond doubt that it is not guilty of the crime of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia and other war-linked offences. It could liaise with UNICEF and other relevant UN agencies for this purpose since it does not recognize the ICC.

A wise course of action for President Putin would be to pick up this gauntlet rather than ignore the grave allegations levelled against him, in view of the long term consequences of such evasive behavior.

Besides, the Russian President would need to restrict his movements from now on. For, he is liable to be arrested and produced before the ICC by those governmental authorities who are signatories to the Rome Statute in the event of Putin entering their countries. That is, Putin’s head is likely to be increasingly restless as time goes by.

However, the gravest consequence flowing from Putin and his regime ignoring the ICC and its strictures is that later, if not sooner, they could find themselves being hauled up before the ICC. There is ample evidence from recent history that this could be so. All the alleged offenders need to do is take their minds back to the convulsive and bloody Balkan wars of the nineties to see for themselves how the ICC process, though slow and laborious, finally delivered justice to the victims of war crimes in that tempestuous theatre.

All those war criminals who have lulled themselves into believing that it is possible to escape being brought to justice before the world’s tribunals, need to recollect how former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevik and his partners in crime Rodovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic were brought before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the early years of this century and required to pay the price for their criminality. So confident were they initially that they would never be brought to justice that they agreed, tongue-in-cheek, to fully cooperate with the ICTY.

It is pertinent to also remember that the criminals mentioned were notorious for their ‘ethnic cleansing’ operations and other war-time excesses. Accordingly, those accused of war crimes the world over would be only indulging in wishful thinking if they consider themselves above the law and safe from being held accountable for their offences. Justice would catch-up with them; if not sooner, then later. This is the singular lesson from Bosnia.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has considered it timely to call on President Putin in Russia. He did so close on the heels of being elected President for a third straight term recently. This is a clear message to the world that Russia could always depend on China to be a close and trusted ally. It is a question of two of the biggest authoritarian states uniting. And the world they see as big enough for both of them.

Interestingly, China is having the world believe that it has a peace plan for Ukraine. While in Russia, though, XI did not spell out in any detail how the crisis in Ukraine would be resolved with China’s assistance. However, China has drafted what is termed its ‘Position on the Ukraine Crisis’. It contains 12 points which are more in the nature of a set of principles.

Seen against the backdrop of the developments in Ukraine, some of these principles merit close scrutiny. For instance, the first principle lays out that the sovereignty of all countries must be respected. Besides, International Law must be universally recognized, including the ‘purposes and principles of the UN Charter’. However, ‘double standards’ must be rejected. Hopefully, the West got the hint.

Principle 4 has it that ‘Dialogue and negotiations are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.’ Principle 8 points out that, ‘Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought’.

Needless to say, all the above principles are acceptable to the international community. What is required of China is to evolve a peace plan for Ukraine, based on these principles, if it is in earnest when it speaks of being a peace maker. The onus is on China to prove its credibility.

However, China could be said to be characteristically pragmatic in making these moves. While further cementing its alliance with Russia, China is placing the latter on notice, though in a subtle way, that its war in Ukraine is proving highly counter-productive and costly, both for the states concerned and the world. The costly economic consequences for the world from the war speak for themselves. Accordingly, nudging Russia in the direction of a negotiated settlement is the wisest course in the circumstances.

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In the limelight again…Miss Super Model Globe 2020



Those who are familiar with the fashion and beauty pageant setup, in Sri Lanka, would certainly remember Shashi Kaluarachchi.

Three years ago, she was crowned Miss Super Model Globe Sri Lanka 2020 and then represented Sri Lanka at the Miss Super Model Globe International, held in India.

Shashi won two titles at this big event; she was placed second in the finals (1st Runner-up) and took the title of Best National Costume.

Very active in the modelling scene, in the not too distant past, Shashi went silent, after dazzling the audience at the Super Model Globe contest.

Obviously, those who are aware of her talents were kept guessing, and many were wondering whether she had prematurely quit the fashion scene!

Not quite so…and I had a surprise call from Shashi to say that she is ready to do it again.

The silence is due to the fact that she is now employed in Dubai and is concentrating on her office work.

1st Runner-up at Miss Super Model Globe International

“When I came to Dubai, I was new to this scene but now I do have some free time, coming my way, and I want to get back to what I love doing the most – modelling, fashion and beauty pageants,” she said.

Shashi indicated that she plans to participate in an upcoming beauty pageant, to be held in Dubai, and also do some fashion shoots, and modelling assignments.

“Dubai is now buzzing with excitement and I want to be a part of that scene, as well,” said Shashi, who had her early beginnings, as a model, at the Walk with Brian Kerkoven modelling academy.

“I owe my success to Brian. He made me what I’m today – a top model.”

Shashi, who 5’7″ tall, says she loves wearing the sari for all important occasions.

“The sari is so elegant, so graceful, and, I believe, my height, and figure, does justice to a sari,”

Shashi has plans to visit Sri Lanka, in April, for a short vacation, adding that if the opportunity comes her way, she would love to do some photo shoots, and a walk on the ramp, as well.

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Dry Skin



Shorter Showers

If you have dry skin, do not take long showers, or baths. Staying in the water for a longer time can dry it out more. You should also use warm, instead of hot, water, when you wash. Hot water can strip your skin of the fatty substances that give it hydration. As soon as you finish cleansing yourself, apply a body lotion, all over your body, to moisturize. Don’t wash yourself more than once a day


Applying a daily moisturizer can do wonders for dry skin, and there are products in your kitchen you can use which are natural and effective. Try coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or sunflower seed oil


Olive oil and brown sugar have amazing properties for the skin. Both of these substances deeply hydrate. Olive oil is also a known wound-healer, while sugar contains glycolic acid, which allows it to have anti-aging. You can make a natural scrub, using these ingredients which can be as good as the best anti-wrinkle creams.

*  Mix one tablespoon of brown sugar with a teaspoon of olive oil.

*  Blend them, and spread the mixture on your face, and neck, using a circular motion, for a few minutes.

*  Then leave it to sit for another couple of minutes, and wash it off with warm water.

You can do this twice a week for amazing results


Taking care of your lips is important. Lips can also get dry and chapped, which is why you need to keep them hydrated, daily. If you’re looking for a natural balm, try sugar and lemon, or honey, sugar, and butter.

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