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* Main opposition of Sri Lanka calls for new laws to empower parliament on impeachment process
Fri, Jan 4, 2013, 09:40 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 04, Colombo: Following the Appeal Court's ruling yesterday that a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has no legal power or authority to find a judge guilty, the main opposition of Sri Lanka United National Party (UNP) has called for introducing new laws to empower parliament.

Issuing a statement, General Secretary of the UNP, parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake said the investigation of the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice is a duty of the parliament and since existing legal provisions to investigate an impeachment are insufficient, newer laws should be introduced immediately to empower parliament to carry out such inquiries.

He said even the Supreme Court's interpretation had acknowledged that the impeachment was a procedure intrinsic to parliamentary proceedings.

Attanayake said the Supreme Court interpretation has ensured the supremacy of parliament and the independence of judiciary and honoring its decision, the parliament needs to bring new legislation immediately before proceeding any further on the impeachment motion.

He suggested the new laws to be based on the Latimer House Guidelines for Parliamentary Supremacy and Judicial Independence approved by the Commonwealth in 2003 and seeking the advice of the Sri Lank Lawyers' Association.

Attanayake emphasized that approving the bill presented before parliament by Parliamentarian Wijedasa Rajapaksa as a private member's motion can form the required legal frame work needed for the impeachment motion.

The UNP General Secretary however, stressed that if the government ignores the opposition's suggestions and tried to illegally pass the parliamentary select Committee (PSC) report on the impeachment, the UNP will oppose such action and will take all necessary action to prevent its approval.

Attanayake said a detailed statement on the higher court's decision will be made on Sunday (6th).

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