Legal professionals have criticised de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris’ visit to the Vatican, pointing out Pieris’ flaunts of his closeness with the Rajapaksa regime has posed a grave threat to the independence of the judiciary.
According to a media statement issued by the Government Information Department on President Rajapaksa’s visit to the Vatican for an audience with the Pope, Pieris had been part of the Presidential delegation. The Lawyers Collective points out that a CJ being part of a visit organized by political representatives of a certain country, is unheard of in the history of the Commonwealth.
Senior lawyer, JC Weliamuna has told media that Pieris’s visit to the Vatican therefore has posed a grave challenge to the independence of the judiciary and on the confidence that the masses have placed on the judiciary.
He has gone on to state that since the appointment of Pieris as the CJ, his participation in events alongside government representatives – almost as a member of the regime – has escalated drastically.