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Sri Lanka reinstates impeached chief justice

Posted in S. Asia

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Published on January 30, 2015 with No Comments

Sri Lanka`s new president  restored the country`s former chief justice after she was controversially impeached by the previous administration.

Lawyers welcomed Shirani Bandaranayake with bouquets of flowers when she went to the Supreme Court in Colombo after receiving the news.

A government official who asked not to be named said President Maithripala Sirisena had written to Bandaranayake to say her 2013 impeachment was unconstitutional and she should return to work.

“The chief justice was restored and the imposter was asked to go,” said the official, referring to Mohan Peiris, who was appointed to the role by former president Mahinda Rajapakse.

Sirisena had vowed in his election manifesto to restore Bandaranayake, who was sacked after her judgements went against Rajapakse`s regime.

Despite a chorus of criticism at home and abroad, he appointed Peiris, the government`s senior legal adviser, as her replacement.

Bandaranayake`s sacking was widely criticised, with the the UN Human Rights Council calling it an assault on judicial independence.

Since Rajapakse`s dramatic defeat at the January 8 elections, Peiris had been under pressure to stand down after he was implicated in an alleged coup attempt to keep the former leader in power.

Police have opened a criminal investigation into claims that the defeated strongman tried to use military force and that Peiris was trying to provide legal justification for him to stay on in office.

 

 

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