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* Sri Lankan President swears in former Attorney General as 44th Chief Justice
Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 05:59 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka's 44th Chief Justice, former Attorney General and a legal adviser to the Cabinet, Mohan Peiris took oaths Tuesday before Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees.

President Rajapaksa appointed Peiris after the Parliamentary Council which met this morning endorsed his name to the top judge post amid the threats from the country's lawyers and judges that they would not cooperate with President's appointment.

As a member of the delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Peiris has been instrumental in defending Sri Lanka's human rights record against allegations of human rights and international law violations.

The Council established under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution comprises the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader, the Speaker and one representative each from the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader.

However, the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and his representative parliamentarian D.M. Swaminathan have reportedly decided to boycott the Parliamentary Council meeting.

President Rajapaksa sacked the current Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayke on Sunday following a parliamentary decision with a majority of 106 votes to impeach the country's first female Chief Justice.

The Chief Justice has however, vowed not to vacate her post since the impeachment process was carried out in defiance of a Supreme Court order.

According to local media reports she has asked for more security as the current sitting Chief Justice.

The Deputy Speaker, Chandima Weerakkody, meanwhile said that the removal of the Chief Justice has been carried out under the legal constitutional process despite many reports to the contrary.

(Photos by Sudath Silva)

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