Lawyers back Sri Lanka's top judge after 'mad woman' jibe

Sri Lankan lawyers today pledged support to the country's chief justice after she walked out of impeachment hearings, further damaging relations between the south Asian country's legislature and judiciary.
Colombo: lawyers back chief justice

Colombo: lawyers back chief justice

Xinhuanet news reports that Sri Lanka Bar Association President JC Weliamuna confirmed that lawyers completely backed Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayaka's move to walk out of a parliamentary select committee session in Colombo on Monday.

US concerns

The situation – which has led to concern expressed by the US embassy – came to a head after the committee was appointed to probe 14 charges brought against the chief justice by a group of 117 MPs.
According to agency news reports, lawyers claimed that ruling party MPs called Sri Lanka’s top judge a ‘mad woman’ and displayed open hostility.
‘It became evident that these members had been mandated to ridicule the head of the judiciary and the legal profession,’ said Ms Bandaranayaka's lawyers in a statement, after they walked out of the hearing on Thursday evening.

Due process

‘She will not attend future hearings,’ a lawyer close to the case added.
Meanwhile, the US embassy released a statement saying it ‘remains very concerned about the state of the Sri Lankan judiciary and the impeachment process of the Chief Justice.’ The US further urged the government to conduct the investigation with ‘transparency, due process and in accordance with the rule of law’.

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