Buddhist monk backs Lankan top judge against impeachment
Colombo: A leading Buddhist monk on Sunday came out in support of Shirani Bandaranayake, the first woman chief justice of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court, who is facing an impeachment motion moved by the government.
Reverend Maduluwawe Sobhitha said the whole process of impeachment against the 54-year old Bandaranayake was unfair.
"The plaintiff and the judge are one and the same. We know the committee composition 7-4 so there is nothing to doubt about the verdict", Sobhitha said.
The monk said he will would conduct a special religious ceremony on December 4, when Bandaranayake is due to appear before the parliamentary select committee.
Sobhitha`s comments came after the leading Buddhist chief prelates of the four sectors had last week appealed in a joint letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa calling for abandoning of the impeachment.
Meanwhile the state radio Lakhanda announced today that a "conspiracy" was underway to summon all provincial magistrates and judges to capital Colombo tomorrow to extend support to Bandaranayake against the impeachment.
The radio said the judges have been called under the pretext of a special meeting.
However there was no such meeting, the radio added.
The impeachment against Bandaranayake was moved by the government based on 14 charges of improper conduct against her.
A select committee consisting of seven members of the government and four from opposition are probing the charges.
Critics say the move to impeach the chief justice is aimed at stifling the courts` independence after the Supreme Court blocked a recent government bill but officials deny this.