Lawyers protest at Sri Lanka chief justice inauguration

Furious lawyers in Sri Lanka shunned the inauguration of the country's recently-appointed chief justice in protest at the impeachment of his predecessor.
Colombo: impeachment row rumbles on

Colombo: impeachment row rumbles on

Mohan Peiris was sworn in last week, with the official ceremony taking place on Wednesday in Colombo. However the event was boycotted by the Sri Lanka Bar Association.

Misconduct allegations

Mr Peiris replaced Shirani Bandaranayake, who was removed after being impeached over allegations of financial and official misconduct, which she denies, reports the BBC.
The removal of Ms Bandaranayake was also pronounced unlawful by the courts.
Sri Lanka Bar Association Chairman Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, had already said the organisation did ‘not welcome’ Mr Peiris before the inauguration, but accepted that Mr Peiris was the country's ‘de facto chief justice’ and that the body would have to work alongside him in the future so as not to ‘let down’ clients.

Towards tyranny

Srinath Perera, a local lawyer at the demonstration, told south Asian web site Zeenews that the events around the former chief justice were ‘another step towards tyranny. People who should have fought the impeachment did not do so and this is the tragic result’.
The UN human rights commissioner, Navi Pillay, described the scenes as a ‘calamitous setback for the rule of law’ in Sri Lanka.

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