Lawyers to strike as impeachment debate begins in Sri Lankan parliament

2013-01-09 11:12:18 GMT2013-01-09 19:12:18(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

COLOMBO, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Lawyers in Sri Lanka will strike for two days as a protest against the government's motion to impeach the chief justice, the umbrella organization said here in a statement Wednesday.

The strike will take place on Thursday and Friday, which are the two days when parliament will debate the impeachment motion, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said. "BASL strongly, unequivocally and with no reservations whatsoever condemns the decision to take up to debate the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake based on the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee which was quashed by the Court of Appeal and determined to be unlawful by the Supreme Court,"it noted.

The association has also decided to call for all its members around the country to refrain from attending to any professional duty in protest on Jan. 10 and 11 to express their condemnation.

The lawyers further urged the president, speaker and the leaders of all political parties representing the parliament to honor and respect the determination of the Supreme Court, which ruled last week that the impeachment was illegal and unconstitutional. "We are seriously concerned about the negative and eroding impact that any action of the legislative and executive organs of the government to disrespect and dishonor such determination would have on the rule of law in this country,"the statement added.

Lawyers will also march in protest of the impeachment on Thursday morning.

This is the third time that BASL have protested against the government's attempts to remove Bandaranayke, but so far all attempts have been ignored by the parliament.

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