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* Sri Lanka PSC probing impeachment motion against Chief Justice meets amidst pro- and anti-protests
Tue, Dec 4, 2012, 12:25 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 04, Colombo: The parliamentary select committee (PSC) probing the impeachment motion against Sri Lanka's Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake commenced sittings in parliament this morning amidst protests in many parts of the country in support and against the impeachment process.

Heavy security was deployed around the Supreme Court complex in Hultsdorf this morning due to protests organized by lawyers and members of the civil society against the impeachment process.

Catholic and Buddhist priests were also gathered outside the Supreme Court complex protesting against the impeachment proceedings and in support of the Chief Justice.

Meanwhile, governing party supporters held a protest on parliament road near the parliament roundabout against the Chief Justice and in support of the impeachment proceedings.

The protest resulted in the police closing down parliament road to traffic.

Chief Justice, Dr. Bandaranayake is currently in the parliamentary complex to go before the PSC.

Dr. Bandaranayake, country's first female Chief Justice, is charged with 14 counts including failing to adequately declare her assets, improper conduct, misusing power and influencing the process of delivery of justice.

The 11-member PSC comprising 7 government and 4 opposition legislators has summoned the Chief Justice to show cause regarding the charges against her.

The PSC is meeting for the second time today following its first sitting on November 23rd. The Chief Justice has been asked to submit written responses to the charges against her today. However local media reported that she has asked for more time to respond to the charges.

The 54-year-old top judge will be represented by a team of attorneys led by President's Counsel Romesh de Silva on the advice from her law firm Neelakandan and Neelakandan. President's Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty, Saliya Peiris, Sugath Caldera, Riyad Ameen and Eraj de Silva will comprise the legal team.

Meanwhile, the opposition members of the PSC in a letter to the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa have requested to suspend PSC proceedings at least by one month during the parliament vacation period after the budget debate.

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