Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa moved to consolidate his power by appointing a close advisor as Chief Justice earlier this week. . . Rajapaksa made the appointment days after Parliament voted 155 to 49 to impeach former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on January 11 . . . the impeachment process began after the Supreme Court ruled against legislation that would have granted the president’s brother, the country’s economic development minister, greater control over development funds . . . the United States Embassy in the country criticized the impeachment . . . the removal of Bandaranayake could spark a constitutional crisis if the former chief justice refuses to step down . . . the country’s bar association has vowed to oppose any replacement . . . the move is the latest step in Rajapaksa’s pursuit of power and follows his earlier actions such as eliminating term limits for the presidency and abolishing the use of independent commissions to make appointments.