Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 01/14/2013 - 23:10
NDP, 13 Jan 2013 - New Democratic Party of Canada in a statement yesterday unreservedly condemned the impeachment of Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake as a politically motivated attack on judicial independance and human rights. NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar urged Commonwealth members to step up action to condemn this attack on judicial independence. International diplomatic pressure must focus on the implementation of the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka, which found credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, he said.
Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 01/14/2013 - 01:06
The Commonwealth, 13 January 2013 - Dismissal of the Chief Justice in Sri Lanka -- Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today expressed deep disappointment at the dismissal of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. The Secretary-General recalled his earlier statements about this matter, in particular his statement following the decision by Parliament on 11 January to impeach the Chief Justice, in which he had urged the Executive to pause and reflect carefully on the constitutional ramifications of the differing positions taken by the country’s Judiciary and Legislature. Reiterating the Commonwealth’s profound collective concern at the recent developments and noting the deep divisions this had caused in Sri Lanka, the Secretary-General said, "the dismissal of the Chief Justice will be widely seen, against the background of the divergence between the Judiciary and the Legislature, as running counter to the independence of the judiciary, which is a core Commonwealth value.
Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 01/14/2013 - 00:29
AHRC, January 13, 2013 -- A Statement from the Lawyers Collective, Sri Lanka, forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission --- H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's purported letter of removal has been received by the Chief Justice. The Lawyers Collective states that this removal affects the very foundation of independence of the Judiciary, the Rule of Law and all basic norms of a working democracy. The politically motivated process of removal of the Chief Justice was nothing but a misuse and abuse of Constitutional provisions and Standing Orders. he conscience of the nation and the BAR is disturbed & is in anguish-and will never accept the illegal &unconstitutional removal of the Chief Justice. The Lawyers Collective categorically reiterates that Hon. Dr. Shirani Bandaranayaka remains the Chief Justice, notwithstanding being unconstitutionally removed.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 01/13/2013 - 23:55
By Fr Pan Jordan OP and Fr Claude Mostowik MSC, 13 Jan 2013 - We, Christians and concerned people, are disturbed by past and continuing actions by the Sri Lankan government against the Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Most Rev Dr Rayappu Joseph. Bishop Joseph has consistently expressed concern at the plight of the all people of the North and East of Sri Lanka. His concerns have been taken President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the UN Human Rights Council (by Skype, because travel was too dangerous), to visiting US Ambassadors who came to Sri Lanka prior to the UNHRC meeting in Geneva (March 2012), and a detailed letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself expressing his concerns at the problems faced by civilians in the north and east.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/12/2013 - 21:41
The Commonwealth, 11 January 2013 - Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has urged the Sri Lankan Government to pause for further careful consideration following the passage by the country’s Parliament today of the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. “The impeachment of a Chief Justice is a very serious matter. In this particular case, it has called into question aspects of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. The Commonwealth, collectively, is profoundly concerned about this situation. I strongly urge that time be taken to reflect and consider fully the constitutional and other ramifications of the differing positions taken by the Judiciary and Legislature before any decision is taken by the Executive on the impeachment of the Chief Justice. I have been in touch with the Sri Lankan Government at the highest levels to offer Commonwealth assistance to find a way forward. I recognise that this is a matter for Sri Lanka, but am also conscious of our shared Commonwealth values and principles, to which Sri Lanka and all member governments have subscribed,” the Secretary-General said.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/12/2013 - 21:20
GOV. UK, 11 January 2013 - United Kingdom calls on Sri Lankan government to respect democratic principles and safeguard Chief Justice and legal profession -- Commenting on the Sri Lankan Parliament’s vote today to impeach the Chief Justice, a Foreign Office spokesperson said: “The British Government is deeply concerned by the impeachment proceedings against Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. We share the concerns already expressed by many people in Sri Lanka over both the process and related reports of the intimidation of members of the Sri Lankan Bar Association. The motion to impeach the Chief Justice runs contrary to the clear rulings of Sri Lanka’s highest courts and the proceedings appear to contravene basic principles of fairness, due process and respect for the independence of the judiciary and the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles. “Together with our international partners, we call on the Sri Lankan Government to respect democratic principles and the right to peaceful protest and to ensure the continued safety of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.”
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/12/2013 - 21:12
U.S. Embassy, January 12, 2013 - U.S. Embassy On Impeachment Process - The United States Embassy remains deeply concerned by the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, which were conducted in defiance of a Supreme Court order. This impeachment calls into question issues about the separation of powers in Sri Lanka and the impact of its absence on democratic institutions. The Embassy is also concerned about accounts of violence during several of the protests. The Embassy calls on all sides to respect the right of peaceful protest, and calls on the government to ensure that non-violent protesters are protected. The United States, along with our partners in the international community, continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to uphold the rule of law and respect the principles of democratic governance.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/12/2013 - 20:57
National Peace Council Media Release on Impeachment Issue, January 12, 2013 - The decision of the Supreme Court means that the Chief Justice is legally entitled to hold office, notwithstanding the Parliamentary vote -- Where the Rule of Law breaks down, it is inevitable that mob rule will eventually prevail. Already mobs have celebrated the impeachment outside the Chief Justice’s residence. Earlier they also threatened protesting lawyers in the presence of the police who stood by. The National Peace Council expresses its grave anxiety that the ground is being laid for non-democratic processes to gain strength, and calls on the government to find an alternative to the process currently underway. If the legitimacy of the national judiciary and Rule of Law is eroded, the case will grow stronger for international judicial interventions in the internal affairs of the country.
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/12/2013 - 00:03
11 January 2013 - Responding to the impeachment of Sri Lanka's Chief Justice, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice in a joint statement have demanded the Commonwealth to take action. "The impeachment comes in direct contravention of a Constitutional determination by the Sri Lankan Supreme Court. Events such as these are a clear violation of the the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Three Branches of Government. As such they should lead the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to pursue a process which leads, if there is not improvement, to Sri Lanka's suspension from the Commonwealth. Relations between Sri Lanka's Government and its judiciary have been appalling for some time, yet the Commonwealth, in particular the Secretary General, have been muted in their criticism. The CHRI and SLC charge that this has been a contributing factor in the Sri Lankan Government's increasingly brazen disregard for judicial independence" they said.
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/11/2013 - 23:19
ICJ, 11 January, 2013 - The ICJ condemned the decision of Sri Lanka’s parliament today to impeach the country’s Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake. “Parliament’s impeachment motion has defied the rulings of the country’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, and thus thrown into chaos the entire system of checks and balances in the country,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Asia-Pacific director. “Sri Lanka’s parliament and executive have effectively decapitated the country’s judiciary in pursuit of short term political gain. As an immediate matter, this has precipitated a legal and constitutional crisis of unprecedented dimensions; but just as worrying are the consequences of this action, which severely erodes accountability and the rule of law in a country already suffering from decades of impunity.”