Ruling on allowing Ranjan in House in 3 weeks – Speaker

Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena

A ruling on allowing MP Ranjan Ramanayake to attend Parliament will be given after a three weeks study on the matter, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena informed the House yesterday (19).

MPs will be given two weeks to forward their proposals or opinions concerning the matter to the Speaker, he said. The Speaker made these observations in reply to the request made by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa to allow MP Ramanayake to attend Parliament.Opposition Leader Premadasa pointed out that only the Speaker can make a decision on the matter.

MP M.A.Sumanthiran, who represented MP Ramanayake in the Supreme Court, said he believes the House, as the legislative, should amend laws concerning Contempt of Court.

Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage pointed out that MP Sumanthiran did not appear in court on behalf of MP Ramanayake on the day Ranjan Ramanayake was sentenced.

The Minister pointed out that Ramanayake was alone in court on the day of sentencing and that there was no one to represent him on that day. Minister Aluthgamage pointed out that if someone else appeared for Ramanayake he would not have been sentenced.

MPs S.B. Dissanayake and Premalal Jayasekara also expressed their opinions as both of them have attended Parliament while being in prison. Opposition MPs and government MP Nimal Lanza had an argument on the matter.

Speaker Abeywardena stated that when allowing MP Premalal Jayasekara who is presently serving a prison sentence to attend Parliament a similar study was done. Due to limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, three weeks will be taken to analyse the matter, the Speaker said.

(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen Marasinghe, Camelia Nathaniel and Amali Mallawaarachchi)