Sri Lanka at a crossroads

Tomorrow, 8th January, the parliament in Sri Lanka will be asked by the government (who control a majority) to vote on the removal of the Chief Justice. This process was declared unconstitutional by the country’s supreme court. Precedents in Sri Lanka and elsewhere suggest that if it happens such a move to effectively bypass the constitution will be supported by other moves to suppress opposition. These precedents are very worrying, and what seemed an interesting political tussle may mark something much more sinister. One of the great strengths of countries like India and Sri Lanka has been historically that they have followed the rule of law, rather than merely the power of the gun.

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