Sri Lankan Parliament votes to impeach Chief Justice

Sri Lankan Parliament Friday voted overwhelmingly to impeach the country's first woman Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, deepening a standoff between the judiciary and the government.

The Parliament voted 155 to 49 to dismiss Bandaranayake, 54, whose recent rulings had gone against the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse, widely expected to approve her sacking.

"The motion (to impeach) was carried with 155 voting for and 49 against," Speaker Chamal Rajapakse said at the end of a two-day debate on a controversial Parliament Select Committee report which found Bandaranayake guilty of misconduct on three counts.

She was accused of financial impropriety based on non-declaration of assets and conflict of interest in a case involving a failed company.

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