The United States reiterates concern on Sri Lanka Chief Justice impeachment
The United States for the second time within a month has reiterated its deep concern of the impeachment of Sri Lanka's Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake.
The State Department deputy spokesperson Mark C. Toner on Friday, 7 December at the daily press briefing in Washington described the impeachment process as "latest developments are part of a disturbing deterioration of democratic norms in Sri Lanka."
Following is the full text of Mr. Toner's statement:
"The United States remains deeply concerned about actions surrounding the ongoing impeachment trial of Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. As Embassy Colombo’s statement noted earlier today, we urge the Government of Sri Lanka to guarantee due process, and to ensure that all investigations are conducted transparently and in accordance with the rule of law.
"These latest developments are part of a disturbing deterioration of democratic norms in Sri Lanka, including infringement on the independence of the judiciary. The United States, along with our partners in the international community, continues to urge Sri Lanka to uphold the rule of law and democratic governance and to continue to address outstanding accountability and reconciliation issues."
The November 9 The New York Times, reporting about the impeachment motion against Sri Lanka's Chief Justice, gave enough fodder to the Subcommittee on South Asian Affairs of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee detrimental to the image of Sri Lanka.
The committee is headed by the Sri Lanka basher Democratic Senator Robert P. Casey who last July said at the confirmation hearing of Ambassador-designate Michele Sison that the "Sinhalese won the war when government military forces defeated the separatist Tamil Tigers in May 2009."
The Asian Tribune earlier reported that an intern working for the Casey committee who is assigned to maintain all reports, news items and statements of outsiders about Sri Lanka has already taken the clip of the New York Times news report captioned 'Sri Lanka’s Parliament Tries to Impeach Chief Justice' to file in a folder in the computer for the subcommittee's later use.
An internship with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, mostly graduate students, work on issues of foreign policy, legislative and political process, and the senate recruits those who possess excellent writing skills, attention to detail and the ability to multitask. Intern responsibilities range from attending meetings on and off the Congress, to drafting memos, tracking legislation and conducting research projects, and they last for a semester or full time so that they earn credits for their graduate studies.
The clipping the intern took from the November 9 report of the New York Times is very interesting. More than reporting that an impeachment motion is pending in Sri Lanka parliament, the report gives many editorial comments that help the South Asian subcommittee of the Senate's all powerful Foreign Relations Committee to further intensify the Congress' and State Department pressure on Sri Lanka.
Due to Sri Lanka's utter inability to provide cogent arguments and explanations as to why an impeachment motion is being forwarded it allowed foreign governments, foremost being the State Department and its diplomatic representative Michele Sison, to provide their own interpretations long before even the contents of the motion was publicized. Sri Lankan authorities allowed many rights groups, civic organizations and others to express their opinion for well over two weeks to create a political atmosphere that the GSL was endeavoring to bring the judiciary as a captive branch.
- Asian Tribune -