SL parties select impeachment panel members
By P K Balachandran | ENS - COLOMBO
13th November 2012 01:25 PM
Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition and the opposition have nominated their representatives in the 11-member Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to be established by the Speaker to go into the question of impeaching the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Shirani Bandaranayake.
The government’s nominees are: Anura Priyadarshana Yapa (chairman), Nimal Sripala de Silva, Susil Premajayantha, Dilan Perera, Rajitha Senaratne, Wimal Weerawansa and Neomal Perera - all ministers.
The opposition members are: John Amaratunga, Lakshman Kirilella (both from the United National Party); Vijitha Herath from the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), and R Sampanthan of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
The ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), with seven members, had an overwhelming majority in the committee. This had led to fears that the proceedings might not be fair. There had been demands that outside observers should be present during the proceedings to ensure fairness and transparency.
The Bar Council of Sri Lanka had issued an appeal to the Speaker and President Mahinda Rajapaksa to allow either its representatives or retired judges of the Supreme Court to observe the proceedings. But, so far, the government had been non-committal on this demand.
However, Chief Justice Bandaranayake was entitled to be assisted by a counsel. She had already appointed the law firm, Neelakandan and Neelakandan, as her lawyers for the proceedings.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the Chief Justice announced in an open court that she would not be hearing cases in which she could be deemed to have a vested interest.
Bandaranayake said that she would withdraw from hearing all cases pertaining to the depositors of Golden Key and Ceylinco Shriram finance companies.
A case relating to Ceylinco Shriram was mentioned in the 14-point charge sheet for impeachment of the Chief Justice submitted by 117 Members of Parliament belonging to the ruling coalition.
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