Lanka's opposition to join impeachment probe against CJ



Colombo: Contrary to expectations, the Sri Lankan opposition parties Monday announced that it would not boycott the parliament's proposed impeachment of the country's first woman Chief Justice Shirani Bandaramayake and named its members who would sit in the select committee probe.

Main opposition MPs John Amaratunga and Lakshman Kiriella both lawyers would represent the United National Party.

Veteran Tamil legislator Rajavayothi Sampanthan would represent the main Tamil party TNA while the Marxist JVP would be represented by Vijitha Herath, officials said.

The government had last week named its members - mostly senior ministers. The opposition wants the membership of the committee to be expanded to allow more from opposition against the seven members nominated by the government.

Meanwhile, in a related development the under fire chief justice has opted out of sitting on the panel hearing a fundamental rights petition involving a company cited in the motion against her.

Two cases have been filed in the Supreme Court against Ceylinco Sri Ram Capital Management and Golden Key Finance Company while a fundamental rights violation application, connected to Golden Key, had been listed to be called in Court today before Bandaranayake.

The first count of the impeachment motion against her had cited two instances where a questionable purchase of house from Ceylinco Housing and Property and City Housing and Real Estate Company Limited and Ceylinco Condominium Limited has been made by the Chief Justice on behalf of her sister living in Australia and that there is a conflict of interest by hearing cases relating to Ceylinco group of companies.

The motion was seen as the crescendo of a dispute between the judiciary and the executive.

Bandaranayake has vowed to act independently and impartially in office despite the motion which calls for her removal.

PTI