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* UK deeply concerned by Sri Lanka's move to impeach Chief Justice
Sat, Jan 12, 2013, 11:19 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 12, Colombo: The British government, responding to Sri Lankan parliament's vote to impeach the Chief Justice, said it is deeply concerned over the move and urged the Sri Lankan government to respect democratic principles and safeguard Chief Justice and legal profession.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a statement issued Friday said the British Government is deeply concerned over the process to impeach Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake.

"We share the concerns already expressed by many people in Sri Lanka over both the process and related reports of the intimidation of members of the Sri Lankan Bar Association," the Foreign Office statement said.

The statement noted that "the motion to impeach the Chief Justice runs contrary to the clear rulings of Sri Lanka's highest courts and the proceedings appear to contravene basic principles of fairness, due process and respect for the independence of the judiciary and the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles."

"Together with our international partners, we call on the Sri Lankan Government to respect democratic principles and the right to peaceful protest and to ensure the continued safety of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake," the statement further said.

The Sri Lankan parliament Friday passed the motion to impeach the Chief Justice by a margin of 106 votes.

Following the constitutional procedure the parliamentary decision has been conveyed to the President who will have the final say on the impeachment of the Chief Justice.

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