UNITED STATE WARNS THE IMPEACHMENT OF CJ UNDERMINES LANKA’S ABILITY TO GET INVESTMENTS

Victoria Nuland

By Walter Jayawardhana

Expressing that there are serious questions about the health and future of Sri Lanka’s democracy over the impeachment of Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayaka the United States warned that any action that undermines an independent judiciary would impact on Sri Lanka’s ability to attract foreign investment.

Addressing the media during US State Department’s daily news briefing in Washington spokesperson Victoria Nuland reiterated the country’s concern over the impeachment and said it also raises serious questions about the separation of powers.

Addressing the media, during the State Department’s daily news Briefing in Washington, spokesperson Victoria Nuland further said, “Well, we are deeply concerned about the impeachment of Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The impeachment proceedings against her were conducted, as you know, in defiance of the Supreme Court order. And 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.

Throughout these proceedings, we’ve repeatedly conveyed to the Government of Sri Lanka our concern that there was a lack of due process, and 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.”

She also said the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, and the United Nations have all issued statements expressing strong concerns about this process.

“We think that there are serious questions about the health and future of Sri Lanka’s democracy and that they really need to roll up their sleeves and work on it,” Ms. Nuland added.

QUESTION: Now that the Sri Lankan chief justice has been removed by the President following her impeachment, what do you have to say now on this?

MS. NULAND: Well, we are deeply concerned about the impeachment of Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The impeachment proceedings against her were conducted, as you know, in defiance of the Supreme Court order. And 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. Throughout these proceedings, we’ve repeatedly conveyed to the Government of Sri Lanka our concern that there was a lack of due process, and 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.

I would also note that we weren’t alone in our concern. The United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, and the United Nations have all issued statements expressing strong concerns about this process.

QUESTION: Do you believe, by such measures, you think Sri Lanka is moving towards an authoritarian regime kind of thing?

MS. NULAND: Look, we think that there are serious questions about the health and future of Sri Lanka’s democracy and that they really need to roll up their sleeves and work on it.

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