Washington: Expressing concern over Sri Lanka`s move to set in motion the process to impeach its first woman Chief Justice, the US today asked the country to avoid any action that would impede the efficacy and independence of the judiciary.
"The United States is concerned by actions taken to impeach Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
The US officials also noted with concern the recent threats to Sri Lankan judicial officials, including the assault last month on a judge who had publicly criticised government pressure on members of the judiciary.
"We urge the Government of Sri Lanka to avoid any action that would impede the efficacy and independence of Sri Lanka`s judiciary," Nuland said.
"The United States, along with our partners in the international community, continues to urge Sri Lanka to address outstanding issues of the rule of law, democratic governance, accountability and reconciliation," she said.
Sri Lankan government yesterday 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.