While expressing concern about the removal of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake from the post of Chief Justice, the UN Human Rights body said High Commissioner Navi Pillay will be issuing a report on Sri Lanka at the February-March session of the HR Council, focusing on the engagement of UN mechanisms in support of the accountability and reconciliation processes.
“We are also concerned that the impeachment process has caused bitter divisions within Sri Lanka, and that it sends an ominous signal about the Government’s commitment to accountability and reconciliation,” the UNHRC said in a statement today.
The full statement
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is deeply concerned that the impeachment and removal of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice has further eroded the rule of law in the country and could also set back efforts for accountability and reconciliation.
The removal of the Chief Justice through a flawed process — which has been deemed unconstitutional by the highest courts of the land — is, in the High Commissioner’s view, gross interference in the independence of the judiciary and a calamitous setback for the rule of law in Sri Lanka.
Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was served notice of her dismissal and removed from her chambers and official residence on Tuesday (15 January), in spite of a Supreme Court ruling that the parliamentary procedure to remove her violated the Constitution.
Sri Lanka has a long history of abuse of executive power, and this latest step appears to strip away one of the last and most fundamental of the independent checks and balances, and should ring alarm bells for all Sri Lankans.
The jurist sworn in by the President as the new Chief Justice on 15 January, the former Attorney-General and Legal Advisor to the Cabinet, Mr. Mohan Peiris, has been at the forefront of a number of government delegations to Geneva in recent years to vigorously defend the Sri Lankan government’s position before the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms. This raises obvious concerns about his independence and impartiality, especially when handling allegations of serious human rights violations by the authorities.
We are also concerned that the impeachment process has caused bitter divisions within Sri Lanka, and that it sends an ominous signal about the Government’s commitment to accountability and reconciliation. It flies in the face of the strong calls by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, and by leaders of Sri Lanka’s civil society and legal profession, to rebuild the rule of law which has been badly eroded by decades of conflict and human rights violations.
Just this morning we have received alarming reports from the Independent Bar of Sri Lanka of a series of death threats, acts of intimidation and even a couple of reported murder attempts against lawyers who have been supporting Chief Justice Bandaranayake, and the rulings of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal on her case.
The High Commissioner will be issuing a report on Sri Lanka at the February-March session of the Human Rights Council, focusing on the engagement of UN mechanisms in support of the accountability and reconciliation processes.
cynthia pietersz Friday, 18 January 2013 13:40
Who the hell cares. They are going to issue a silly statement without knowing true facts or doing an in-depth analysis.
Reply : 189 52
Lobo Saturday, 19 January 2013 12:58
Another flawed report based on innuendos and unproved allegations.
Reply : 12 13
Podiman Saturday, 19 January 2013 02:54
This is not the first time Government officials has violated and reject the Human Rights of the SL citizens.Even they threats and asked recall HR complains file at the HR Commission . When the recommendations issued by the Commission then no actions had been taken by the respondents. It's the usual nature of the rigid officials holding responsible positions of this country. Thereby Dr. Bandaranayake will not be the last officer who faced such type of ill-treatments by the SL authorities !
(Wonder of Asia!)
Reply : 13 47
nicky karunarathna Saturday, 19 January 2013 03:06
Now what? SL cannot remove corrupt judge from the post and it goes as human rights eh? Set of mad jokers, who think like Tamil coolie and act like one too with the mind set of British Raj period.
Reply : 65 28
GP Saturday, 19 January 2013 03:26
"tamil coolie" can understand the HR violations that the idiotic "Bath parcel" modayas
Reply : 14 40
Thunderball Saturday, 19 January 2013 03:33
Hey, this guy talks of corruption. Living in Sri Lanka? In Sri Lanka there is no corruption ( Gypsies song).
Reply : 7 27
Silva de Mervin Saturday, 19 January 2013 16:24
Coolies may now be happy of what is going on in your backyards.
You will enjoy until a white van pick you up or one in your family. It will then be late to complain!
Reply : 4 14
Namal Kodithuwakku Saturday, 19 January 2013 03:47
Pille in action again, ane paw
Reply : 20 18
Malaka Silvaala Saturday, 19 January 2013 03:50
Oi Nicky post your contact details I will pay you a visit to give you a bit of education you coward
Reply : 11 25
Meharudeen Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:21
Well I have no choice but to back UN! I think the GOSL asked for it. If they can't treat their citizens right, if they can't provide justice right, if they can't protect its people, creating divisions among people, corruption to the highest, killings, injustice, education in a mess, healthcare crash, economy very unstable, high cost of living, loans, underworld/drug cartel/pimps running the country....etc... I ask the general public the thinking once, what type of country are you hoping to create and give your children! I love me country and I don't want to see her used like a prostitute. May the GOD Bless my beautiful country and make my people realize what is right from wrong, good from bad...Provide my countrymen the right to education and lots of respect and dignity. Bring harmony & peace among them........Lord.
Reply : 11 31
navin silva Saturday, 19 January 2013 07:22
u can back un , specially when you commeting from overseas , you never backed sl , so why change now"
Reply : 5 10
Ajith Sunday, 20 January 2013 06:18
Navi Pillay report will be drastic and CJ's removal will add fuel to Fire and poor Srilakan people will be suppressed again by EU.This is all due to donkey acts of our rulers.
Reply : 0 9
Renu Monday, 21 January 2013 04:18
What if the report is advise? What would be the repercussions. Will it be put to vote, and if the International community decide that we have violated HR, then what is the next step ? Would they Ban us from the UN, Commonwealth and other powerful world organizations, and not allow politicians to visit their countries, and what would be the stance of China & Russia ? What repercussions would they have to face if things go the wrong way? These are serious questions that people need to consider , as we are fast becoming a failed state
Reply : 0 0
Kishan Monday, 21 January 2013 06:16
These people can always release reports against countries like us .They never see the human rights violations in Afghanistan and Guantanamo by American and NATO soldiers
Reply : 0 2
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