Commonwealth Secretary-General has expressed concern over the recent move by the Sri Lankan Parliament to impeach the country’s Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.
“The Commonwealth’s principal consideration is that the provisions of Sri Lanka’s constitution are upheld with regards to the removal of judges, respecting the independence of the judiciary,” Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said in a statement yesterday.
Sharma stressed that Commonwealth believes the preservation of the rule of law and independence of the judiciary are vital to the healthy functioning of a democracy.
He noted: “The Commonwealth’s Latimer House Principles, which govern the relationship between the three branches of government, are a cornerstone of our association’s values.
“All our member states have committed themselves to upholding the Latimer House Principles so that citizens’ faith and confidence in democratic culture is assured and the rule of law is maintained.”
Sri Lankan government has set in motion the process to impeach the woman Chief Justice charging her with “improper conduct” and “over-stepping” limits in an escalating conflict between the Judiciary and the Executive.
Bandaranayake, 54, was appointed the country’s first woman chief justice last year and has another 11 years in office unless removed by the impeachment motion