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* Sri Lanka turns down US grant for law reformThu, May 2, 2013, 09:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
May 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka has rejected a United States grant of Rs. 450 million (US$ 3.5 million) for judicial reform because the conditions attached to it would infringe on the country's sovereignty.
Sri Lanka's Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem has told India's Express News service that the conditions attached to the grant will erode the sovereignty of the country.
"The grant's conditionalities were incompatible with our status as a sovereign country," Minister Hakeem has said
The Minister, when asked what the conditions were, has declined to elaborate. "I cannot go beyond this," he was quoted as saying.
Local media has speculated that the issue was the chairmanship of the Advisory Committee on the use of the grant.
The government, according to sources, has insisted on having the current Chief Justice Mohan Peiris assuming the role but the U.S. still opposed to the impeachment of former chief justice is reportedly adamant on not recognizing Peiris as the Chief Justice.
For the Lankan government, the US objection was reportedly untenable from the stand point of the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
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