Sri Lanka’s Acting President initiates process to pardon Ranjan Ramanayake

Ranjan Ramanayake was taken into a prison bus

The Justice Ministry is looking at means by which former parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake can be granted a pardon, after Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe gave directions to initiate the process.

Mr. Ramanayake is serving sentences for contempt of court. Authoritative sources said the process for a presidential pardon which is usually lengthy will be initiated.

The Supreme Court first sentenced Mr. Ramanayake to four years of rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court in January 2021. While he was serving his punishment, he was once again sentenced in June this year to a further two years imprisonment, suspended for five years, on another contempt of court charge.

The granting of presidential pardons for contempt of court has precedence. For instance, the then President Mathripala Sirisena pardoned Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera of the Bodu Bala Sena.  Also the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa pardoned former minister S.B. Dissanayake, who was also serving a sentence for contempt of court.

(Courtesy: The Sunday Times)