SJB urges Speaker to allow Ranjan to attend Parliament

Lakshman Kiriella

Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella yesterday requested Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to permit MP Ranjan Ramanayake, sentenced by the Supreme Court to four years rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court, to attend Parliament sittings.

The Chief Opposition Whip made that request at yesterday’s party leaders meeting held at the Parliamentary complex with Speaker Abeywardena presiding.

MP Kiriella pointed out that MP Ramanayake would not lose his seat until the latter had served six months in jail and till then he was entitled to attend parliament.

Kiriella told The Island: “I pointed out that SLPP MP Premalal Jayasekera who is on death row was permitted to attend parliament sessions after he filed an appeal against his death sentence. The Court of Appeal in its ruling held that it was the prerogative of the Speaker of Parliament to decide whether MP Jayasekera be permitted to attend parliament or not and accordingly the Speaker allowed him to be present during parliament sessions. In the same way, the speaker could permit Ramanayake, who is entitled to hold his MP post at least for the next six months.”

He said that he also sought the permission of the Speaker to explain the matter to the House when it would meet today (18) and the permission was granted.

“SJB General Secretary MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran too spoke in support of my request. We hope that the Speaker would consider our request favourably and permit MP Ramanayake to attend parliament.”

(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)