Brussels, 18 January 2013
5517/2/13 REV 2
Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the EU on the impeachment of Sri Lankan Chief Justice
The EU has followed with considerable concern the recent impeachment process against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.
The separation of powers is inherent in any democracy which respects the rule of law. It follows that the independence of the judicial branch cannot be made subject to actions by any other branch of government.
It is vital that Sri Lanka ensures that its international obligations, and in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are implemented.
The EU calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to respect the right to peaceful protest and to ensure the safety both of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and of all human rights defenders.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Armenia, align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.