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* Sri Lanka President removes Chief Justice
Sun, Jan 13, 2013, 01:39 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 13, Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse Sunday removed the country's first female Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake by ratifying Friday's parliamentary vote to impeach her, his spokesman has said.

The Government Information Department quoting the spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said the President signed the notice on Dr. Bandaranayake removing her from the Office of Chief Justice today.

A secretary, accompanied by presidential security staff, has hand-delivered the letter to the Chief Justice.

The dismissal comes despite numerous calls from local as well as international right groups and organizations including the Commonwealth to reconsider the impeachment as the move would create a constitutional crisis.

However, following the parliamentary vote to impeach the Chief Justice on Friday, under Sri Lanka's Constitution the President has no power to appoint a new committee to review the parliamentary procedure.

The parliament passed the motion to impeach the Chief Justice on Friday with a two-third majority after a parliamentary select committee has found the Chief Justice guilty of financial and personal misconduct.

The Speaker conveyed parliament's decision to the President Friday night.

The President was scheduled to meet with the Supreme Court judges Saturday to discuss the impeachment process.

Media reports said four names of judges are under consideration for the post of Chief Justice. Supreme Court judges, Shiranee Tilakawardane and Sathya Hettige were among them. However, the former Attorney General Mohan Peiris is not under consideration despite specualtions, reports said.

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