He said during Peiris' tenure as attorney general and the government's top legal adviser, he "consistently blocked efforts to hold the government responsible for serious human rights violations and disregarded international law and standards."
Critics say replacing the chief justice is part of an effort to consolidate the government's power in the hands of the president's family. Rajapaksa's older brother is the parliamentary speaker, and two of his younger brothers hold the powerful positions of economic development minister and defense secretary. Rajapaksa's eldest son is a lawmaker.
Many prominent lawyers in Sri Lanka have already said they still recognize Bandaranayake as the chief justice and have written to senior judges urging them not to recognize a new appointee.
On Tuesday, a local political think tank, the Center for Policy Alternatives, and its executive director filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging Peiris' appointment.
Bandaranayake said in a statement Tuesday that she was still the legitimate chief justice of Sri Lanka, but that she decided to leave her official residence and office, fearing violence.
Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.
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