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Sri Lankan president ratifies chief justice's dismissal in impeachment standoff with judiciary

Sri Lanka's president has signed a decree to dismiss the country's chief justice after Parliament voted overwhelmingly for her removal in a widely criticized impeachment process.

The official government website says President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed the decree Sunday. It was the final step to dismiss Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake following a bitter dispute with the judiciary.

Jurists and activists have said the impeachment was illegal and that any attempt to appoint a new chief justice could precipitate a constitutional crisis.

A parliamentary committee last month found Bandaranayake guilty of unexplained wealth and misuse of power. Bandaranayake walked out of the proceeding, saying she was not given a fair hearing.