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* ICJ condemns appointment of Sri Lanka's new Chief Justice
Wed, Jan 16, 2013, 10:38 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 16, Colombo: The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), an international non-governmental human rights organization condemned the appointment of former Attorney General Mohan Peiris as Sri Lanka's new Chief Justice.

His appointment to the Chief Justice post raises serious concerns about the future of the Rule of Law and accountability in the country, the ICJ said Tuesday in a statement.

"Mohan Peiris' appointment as the new Chief Justice, after a politically compromised and procedurally flawed impeachment, adds serious insult to the gross injury already inflicted on Sri Lanka's long suffering judiciary," Sam Zarifi, ICJ's Asia director said.

The ICJ criticized the new Chief Justice, who was a member of the Sri Lankan delegation to the United Nations Human Right Council, for defending Sri Lanka against international intervention at the UNHRC sessions.

"During his tenure as Attorney-General and the government's top legal advisor Mohan Peiris consistently blocked efforts to hold the government responsible for serious human rights violations and disregarded international law and standards," Zarifi said.

Condemning the Peiris' appointment as a "further assault on the independence of the judiciary" the ICJ called on the Sri Lankan government to reinstate Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

"If there are grounds for questioning the Chief Justice's actions, they should be pursued following due process and a proper impeachment process," the ICJ said.

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