Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 23:26
LSSA, 17 January 2013 - The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) calls on the South African Government to condemn these developments in Sri Lanka and to urge the Sri Lankan Government to reinstate Judge Bandaranayake as Chief Justice. The South African Government must not be seen to remain silent in the face of these violations of the Rule of Law, while at the same time increasing its bilateral and trade relations with Sri Lanka. The LSSA plans to take this matter up at the 18th Commonwealth Law Conference being hosted by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and the LSSA in Cape Town from 14 to 18 April 2013.
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 22:58
Geneva, 18 January 2013 - Rupert Colville for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay was deeply concerned that the impeachment and removal of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice had further eroded the rule of law in the country and could also set back efforts for accountability and reconciliation. The removal of the Chief Justice through a flawed process, which had been deemed unconstitutional by the highest courts of the land, was, 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.
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 22:25
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2013) - The Law Society of Upper Canada publicly expresses concern that the recent dismissal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is politically motivated and may have a negative effect on judicial independence in Sri Lanka. The Law Society of Upper Canada believes strongly in the importance of protecting judicial independence. Judges frequently have to rule on controversial matters and interpret the law in areas where there is legal uncertainty. Judges must be able to make controversial, and even unpopular, rulings without fear of politically motivated sanctions.
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 00:08
International Crisis Group, 17 January 2013 - In light of Sri Lanka’s clear and repeated violation of Commonwealth principles, and following his recent welcome expressions of concern about the impeachment, the Commonwealth Secretary-General should refer Sri Lanka to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). Already the Canadian government has called on CMAG to put Sri Lanka on its agenda – other Commonwealth governments should endorse this position and insist that CMAG acts. Unless the impeachment is reversed, the Commonwealth should shift the location of its next heads of government meeting, currently scheduled to take place in Colombo in November 2013.
The HRC should note the failure by the government to implement last year’s recommendations and call for an independent investigation into all credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, whose broad outlines were laid out in the April 2011 report of the UN Secretary-General’s panel of experts looking at the civil conflict’s conclusion.
All of Sri Lanka’s international partners – both bilateral and multilateral – need to determine measures to be taken in response to the Rajapaksa government’s clear contempt for constitutional values and the rule of law.
All those providing bi-lateral and multilateral development assistance – especially the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund – should review their programs in light of the political attacks by the Rajapaksa government on the rule of law and its continued failure to address accountability issues stemming from the killing of thousands of non-combatants in 2009.
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 22:55
Washington, DC, January 17, 2013 - Sri Lanka government's explanations regarding the impeachment of the chief justice are not satisfactory in terms of protecting democracy, US State Dept. Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said yesterday. "But it is too soon to say what impact the actions will have on our foreign assistance for Sri Lanka going forward. U.S. Government assistance for FY2012 for Sri Lanka was $27 million. This included 13.3 million in bilateral assistance programs which primarily related to peace and security, human rights, economic growth, and democracy programs. We have a 2013 request for 16.5 million", he said during the daily press briefing.
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:40
Status Report of the Lawyers Collective, Issued on 15th January 2013: 9.00 p.m. -- Lady Chief Justice’s residence was cordoned off and senior Police Officers were seen even within the premises. The Chief Justice was told by Police Officers that she cannot speak to the media as she is no longer the Chief Justice. The media gathered outside the residence was asked to leave. They resisted and reminded the Police this is where the so called Golden Key depositors had camped and provided Police protection. When the Lady Chief Justice came out of the residence she was prevented from speaking to the media and thereafter she issued a written statement in all three languages.
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 22:55
By Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake, 15th January 2013 - I am the 43rd Chief Justice of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. As the Chief Justice, I have an obligation and an unwavering duty towards the judges, lawyers and the citizens at large of my country. I stand here before you today having been unjustly persecuted, vilified and condemned. The treatment meted out to me in the past few weeks, was an ordeal no citizen let alone the Chief Justice of the Republic should be subjected to. The 32 years of continuous service at the University of Colombo and the Supreme Court, during my 54 year lifespan, I have rendered in varying capacities towards my motherland, is rewarded unfortunately, in this unjust manner. The very tenor of rule of law, natural justice and judicial abeyance has not only been ousted, but brutally mutilated. The accusations levelled against me are blatant lies. I am totally innocent of all charges and had there been a semblance of truth in any allegation, I would not have remained even for a moment in the august office of the Chief Justice. I can stand before you today as the Chief Justice, a citizen and a human being, purely because of that very innocence. Since it now appears that there might be violence if I remain in my official residence or my chambers I am compelled to move out of my official residence and chambers particularly because the violence is directed at innocent people including judges, lawyers and committed members of the public.
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 22:38
ICJ, 15 Jan 2013 - The appointment of former Attorney General Mohan Peiris as Sri Lanka’s new Chief Justice raises serious concerns about the future of the Rule of Law and accountability in the country, the ICJ said today. “During his tenure as Attorney-General and the government’s top legal advisor Mohan Peiris consistently blocked efforts to hold the government responsible for serious human rights violations and disregarded international law and standards,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Asia director. “Mohan Peiris’ appointment as the new Chief Justice, after a politically compromised and procedurally flawed impeachment, adds serious insult to the gross injury already inflicted on Sri Lanka’s long suffering judiciary.” ICJ condemns this appointment as a further assault on the independence of the judiciary and calls on the Sri Lankan government to reinstate Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 21:49
Liberal Party - Canada, 14 Jan 2013 - TORONTO – Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on the Sri Lankan government’s dismissal of the country’s Chief Justice: “The Liberal Party of Canada strongly condemns the Sri Lankan government's unconstitutional dismissal of the country's Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. Last week we called on the Conservative government to immediately raise this issue with the Commonwealth's disciplinary group. Canada must request an emergency meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to address these direct violations of the association's fundamental principles with the Sri Lankan government, and establish a path forward to support the development of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government's actions threaten the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. It is simply unacceptable that we wait to address this dire situation until the next scheduled meeting, as Prime Minister Harper and Minister Baird would prefer.”
Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 00:43
14 January 2013 - Canada's Prime Minister Hon. Stephen Harper yesterday in a statement expressed deep concern regarding the dismissal of Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. "We call on the Government of Sri Lanka to respect the country's constitution and the independence of its judiciary and change course immediately. Canada continues to have serious concerns about the human rights situation, the need for reconciliation, and the democratic deficit in Sri Lanka. We will continue to raise these concerns forcefully, without equivocation both directly with the Government of Sri Lanka and through resolutions at both the United Nations and the Commonwealth. We will push for this latest troubling development to be addressed at the next meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group", the Prime Minister said.