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* Undermining judiciary would impact foreign investment in Sri Lanka, US warns
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 11:02 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 15, Washington, DC: The United States warned Sri Lanka today that undermining the independence of judiciary would impact the country's ability to attract foreign investment.

Responding to media queries on the impeachment of Sri Lanka's Chief Justice at the daily press briefing on Monday, Deputy Spokesperson of the U.S. State Department Ms. Victoria Nuland said the U.S. is deeply concerned about the impeachment.

The Spokesperson noted that the impeachment proceedings against Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake were conducted in defiance of the Supreme Court order.

"From our perspective, this impeachment raises serious questions about the separation of powers in Sri Lanka, which is a fundamental tenet of a healthy democracy," she said.

Ms. Nuland reminded that throughout these proceedings, the U.S. repeatedly conveyed their concern to the Sri Lankan government that there was a lack of due process.

"We've also made very clear our view that actions undermining an independent judiciary would impact on Sri Lanka's ability to attract foreign investment."

The Spokesperson also pointed out that the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, and the United Nations have all expressed strong concerns about the impeachment of the Chief Justice.

Sri Lankan legislature and executive have come under severe criticism from all corners of the world when the country is preparing to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November.

When asked whether Sri Lanka is moving towards an authoritarian regime, the spokesperson said there are serious questions about the health and future of Sri Lanka's democracy.



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