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* Sri Lanka opposition parties to support lawyers' protests
Thu, Jan 10, 2013, 01:11 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 09, Colombo: All major opposition political parties in Sri Lanka has expressed their support to the protests organized by the lawyers against the government's decision to debate the impeachment motion in parliament on the next two days.

The Lawyers Collective, a lawyers' organization of Sri Lanka plans to hold a protest march on Thursday (January 10) to demand the government and parliament to accept the court's rulings that said the report of the parliamentary select committee (PSC) against the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake null and void.

Sri Lanka's main opposition United National party (UNP) and the Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna have said they fully back the lawyers' protest march, the Lawyers' Collective said at a media briefing today.

Meanwhile, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has also decided to refrain from attending any professional duties to protest the impeachment debate scheduled to be held on January 10th and 11th ignoring the Supreme Court's determination, secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka said.

Lawyers in Galle and Matara Districts have also decided to boycott court proceedings on the 10th and 11th.

Meanwhile lawyer for the Chief Justice Counsel Saliya Peiris said in told media Wednesday that the Chief Justice is innocent of all the charges and is willing to face any charge before any independent panel.

The Counsel said that there was no specific procedure laid down for the parliamentary committee to probe charges against the top judge although her legal team repeatedly asked for a procedure.

He pointed out that an Establishment Code gives the procedure for any inquiry against public servants.

"There should be a list of witnesses, list documentary evidence and also time sufficient time period will be given to answer the charges," Peiris was quoted in the media as saying.

The Court of Appeal invalidated the report of the PSC on January 07.



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