Rajapaksa appoints panel to review CJ's impeachment
Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a four-member independent panel to review a parliamentary committee's impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, apparently in the wake of widespread criticism.
Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said the panel would start work today to review the report of the Parliament Select Committee, but did not name the members.
The parliamentary committee had found 54-year-old Bandaranayake guilty on four counts out of the 14 point charges, triggering a tussle between the legislature and the judiciary. But the Supreme Court declared last week that the committee did not have authority to probe the chief justice.
Rajapaksa last month said he had to satisfy himself on the PSC report and he would therefore appoint a panel.
Meanwhile, the chief government whip and senior minister Dinesh Gunawardhana said that debate on the PSC report would take place on January 10 and 11.
The decision was arrived at despite the opposition walkout from the party leaders' meeting. The opposition urged that government must pay heed to the Supreme Court's interpretation when it ruled that the PSC was illegal.
The government holding the position that parliament was supreme would go ahead with the debate, Gunawardhana said.
The opposition say the whole process of impeachment is unfair and carried out with prejudice against the lady.