Asia

Tamil Sripavan appointed Sri Lanka's top judge

Judge Kanagasabapathy Sripavan (right) takes oath in front of President Maithripala Sirisena (centre) Image copyright president.gov.lk
Image caption Kanagasabapathy Sripavan (right) is the first Tamil to hold the post since 1991

Sri Lanka's president has appointed a Tamil judge as the new chief justice - the first member of the minority community to hold the post in decades.

Judge Kanagasabapathy Sripavan, 62, was sworn in in the capital Colombo.

President Maithripala Sirisena, from the majority Sinhalese community, has sought reconciliation with Tamils after the separatist war that ended in 2009.

About 100,000 people have been killed during the conflict that erupted in the 1980s.

Name cleared

"Justice Sripavan was sworn in before President Sirisena," the presidential secretariat said in a statement on Friday, AFP news agency reports.

Mr Sripavan is the first Tamil to be appointed to the top position since 1991.

The move comes two days after the president declared illegal the 2013 impeachment of former chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Shirani Bandaranayake always denied the corruption charges

Ms Bandaranayake had been sacked by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa over corruption claims - a move widely criticised by the international community and human rights groups.

Ms Bandaranayake, who has always denied corruption claims, returned to the post on Wednesday - only to retire a day later once her name had been cleared.

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