Impeachment of Chief Justice a "calamitous setback for the rule of law" in Sri Lanka: UN Human Rights chief

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Navi Pillay

The impeachment and removal of the Chief Justice in Sri Lanka has further eroded the rule of law in the country and could set back efforts for accountability and reconciliation.

That opinion comes from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in a statement on Friday.

Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was served notice of her dismissal and removed from her chambers and official residence on Tuesday, according to the UN Human Rights office.

Ms. Pillay said this happened despite a Supreme Court ruling that the parliamentary procedure to remove the Chief Justice violated the Constitution.

The UN Human Rights chief called the move "a gross interference in the independence of the judiciary and a calamitous setback for the rule of law in Sri Lanka."

She said the country has a long history of abuse of executive power, and that this latest step "appears to strip away one of the last and most fundamental of the independent checks and balances."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 57″

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