Lanka rejects concerns over democracy

The government has rejected concerns raised about its state of democracy following the appointment of a new Chief Justice.

Deputy Foreign minister Neomal Perera said most concerns were baseless and stem from a lack of knowledge of local laws and the constitution.

Following the impeachment of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, Canada threatened to boycott a Commonwealth heads of government meeting scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in November this year.

However Perera says the summit will go ahead as scheduled and that the actual ground situation has been explained to delegates and envoys from other countries.

“Some people are making statements without having proper knowledge about our constitution. Over the years there have been other judges who have also been impeached. This will not have a serious impact on the Commonwealth summit,” he said.

Yesterday the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she will submit a report on Sri Lanka at the February-March session of the UN Human Rights Council. She had said that Bandaranayake was removed in a “flawed” process.

The European Union (EU) had meanwhile on Friday called on the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure the safety both of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and of all human rights defenders.