Quantcast
Latest Stories

Sri Lanka begins impeachment of top judge


COLOMBO – Sri Lanka’s parliament Friday began an impeachment hearing against the country’s chief justice, defying a Supreme Court request for a suspension of proceedings, official sources told AFP.

Shirani Bandaranayake, the first woman to be Sri Lanka’s top judge, went before a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) for the first time to answer allegations of financial and official misconduct, sources said.

After nearly three hours of closed-door talks, the PSC scheduled the next hearing for December 4 and turned down her request for more time to prepare a full defense, a source told AFP, asking not to be named.

The Supreme Court had on Thursday asked the parliament to consider suspending the impeachment move pending hearings into nine cases challenging the legality of the moves to sack 54-year-old Bandaranayake.

“All government MPs in the PSC voted to deny the Supreme Court request to suspend the proceedings,” an opposition legislator told AFP, asking for anonymity because he was not authorized to talk.

The government reacted angrily to Thursday’s Supreme Court call to hold the impeachment and warned that the judiciary should not interfere in the legislature’s move to sack the chief justice.

“We as government MPs ask the Supreme Court not to intervene in this impeachment process,” Minister of Productivity Development Lakshman Seneviratne told a hurriedly summoned press conference in parliament.

High Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake warned the judiciary against commenting on the impeachment.

“The judiciary has started talking about it, discussing it, holding processions and picketing, but we remained silent all this time,” Dissanayake said.

“Now we want to give the country our side of the story to the media… We hope the judiciary will give their support by remaining silent.”

Rights groups have said the impeachment is the latest sign of efforts by President Mahinda Rajapakse to tighten his grip on power after crushing the Tamil Tiger separatist rebels in 2009 at the end of a decades-long war.

The Supreme Court irked Rajapakse last month with a decision that effectively scuppered a bill giving more powers to the economic development minister, who is the president’s younger brother Basil.

Bandaranayake, whose husband was also charged recently with corruption while holding a political appointment as the head of a state-owned bank, has denied the financial wrongdoing alleged in the impeachment.

She declined to comment as she arrived at parliament to go before the PSC, which has a total of 11 members — seven from the government side and four from the opposition. She was accompanied by six lawyers.

The ruling party has more than the required simple majority in the 225-member assembly to impeach Bandaranayake, who would otherwise have another 11 years as chief justice.

The move to sack her was initiated by the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance, which also dominates the PSC.

The United States has joined other international voices in expressing concern over the impeachment. Sri Lankan lawyers have united in urging the authorities to ensure “due process” in any action against the judge.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: chief justice , Impeachment , News , Sri Lanka , world




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Sports

  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming
  • Murray breaks down in tears at Scottish ceremony
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement