Lawyers in Lanka Hold Protest for Resignation of Chief Justice
COLOMBO: Hundreds of lawyers in Sri Lanka today took to street, demanding resignation of Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, who was appointed by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa after the impeachment of the country’s first woman
top judge allegedly out of personal vendetta.
Peiris, a confidante of Rajapaksa, was inducted in office in January 2013 after the impeachment and sacking of his predecessor Shirani Bandaranayake on corruption charges despite protests by rights groups, citizens, clergy and lawyers.
Bandaranayake’s removal was pronounced unlawful by courts and also condemned by international community. It was cited even in the UN Human Rights Council resolutions adopted against the Rajapaksa administration.
She had denied all the charges against her and alleged that she had been sacked by Rajapaksa “through improper procedure due to personal vendetta”.
Several lawyers had vehemently protested against the sacking of Bandaranayake and vowed not to cooperate with Peiris.
“We want him to go with dignity,” Upul Jayasuriya, the Chairman of the lawyers’ body, Bar Association of Sri Lanka said today.
“We will give him time until tomorrow to resign, if he did not we shall be back here protesting tomorrow,” Sunil Watagala, a lawyer said.
In the run up to the January 8 presidential election, the joint opposition had pledged to restore Bandaranayake in her position as the 43rd Chief Justice.