SL parliament to impeach chief justice

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iol news pic Sri Lanka Chief Justice~5

AP

In this Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 photo, Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake carries flowers to offer at a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's parliament voted to impeach the country's chief justice, disregarding rulings from the Supreme Court that the process was illegal. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Colombo - Sri Lanka's parliament voted to impeach the country's chief justice on Friday, disregarding rulings from the Supreme Court that the process was illegal and threatened judicial independence.

The parliament, dominated by a coalition headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa's party, impeached Shirani Bandaranayake, Sri Lanka's first female chief justice, with 155 votes in favour, above the simple majority in the 225-member legislature.

Her impeachment has stirred protests by lawyers, opposition lawmakers and religious leaders, prompted the United States and the United Nations to raise concern over judicial integrity in the South Asian state and could alarm foreign investors.

During a two-day debate, lawmakers disregarded rulings by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal against the impeachment, after a parliamentary panel found Bandaranayake guilty of financial irregularities and failure to declare assets. - Reuters


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