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ICJ condemns appointment of Sri Lanka's new chief justice, urges reinstatement of sacked judge

The International Commission of Jurists has condemned a move by Sri Lanka's president to appoint one of his trusted aides as the chief justice after he sacked the former top judge.

Mohan Peiris, a retired attorney general and a legal adviser to the Cabinet, was sworn in before President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday, two days after Shirani Bandaranayake was dismissed as chief justice after a parliamentary committee found her guilty of having unexplained wealth and misuse of power.

A statement on group's website says that Peiris's appointment "raises serious concerns about the future of the rule of law and accountability" and "adds serious insult to the gross injury already inflicted on Sri Lanka's long suffering judiciary."

It urged the government to reinstate Bandaranayake, saying her impeachment process was flawed.