UN flays Sri Lanka Chief Justice removal

Jan 19, 2013 (LBO) – The controversial removal of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake through a process courts have ruled to be unconstitutional is a “calamitous setback” for rule of law, a United National official has said. “The removal of the Chief Justice through a flawed process which has been deemed unconstitutional by the highest courts of the land is, in the High Commissioner’s view, gross interference in the independence of the judiciary and a calamitous setback for the rule of law in Sri Lanka, Rupert Colville, spokesperson for High Commissioner Navi Pillay, told reporters in Geneva.

“Sri Lanka has a long history of abuse of executive power, and this latest step appears to strip away one of the last and most fundamental of the independent checks and balances, and should ring alarm bells for all Sri Lankans.”

Colville also expressed concern at the appointment of former Attorney-General and Legal Advisor to the Cabinet, Mohan Peiris as Bandaranayake’s replacement.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to issue a report on Sri Lanka in the February-March session of the Human Rights Council

The full text of the statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights