Allegations on use of narcotics : Ranjan ready to submit names | Sunday Observer

Allegations on use of narcotics : Ranjan ready to submit names

State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said he was ready to submit the full list of parliamentarians who are using narcotic drugs at any time. He is awaiting an audience with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to provide the list.

The State Minister made this statement after the Speaker informed the Parliament that Ramanayake has failed to submit the requested document.

On Friday (22) State Minister Ramanayake made his statement to the four-member committee appointed by his party, the United National Party (UNP), to probe into his controversial allegation that 24 members of Parliament including ministers useing narcotic drugs.

The committee is headed by Minister Lakshman Kiriella while State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, MP Ashu Marasinghe and President’s Counsel Nissanka Nanayakkara serve as members.

Following the committee meeting held in Parliament Minister Kiriella said the report will be handed over to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. However, he refused to disclose the names of the MPs and ministers during the committee meeting.

“This is an internal affair of the UNP,” Minister Kiriella said adding the statement the State Minister provided was the same he had given to the CID.

State Minister Ramanayake said that he revealed a few names during the committee meeting to prove that he was correct.

“I sent the information regarding the issue to the CID by registered post. I have asked the CID to record my statement. I am ready to provide more information without hampering the process of the investigation,” he said.

If such a revelation was made in another country there would have been a positive probe into it, but in Sri Lanka some are angered by it. He suggested that MPs and ministers who want to prove they do not use such substances can do so by providing a urine sample.

“I might lose. I might even mess up. But I will continue to fight,” he said.

The State Minister also underwent a blood and urine test in Colombo on Friday to prove he was not under the influence of narcotics. The tests screened the obtained samples of 11 drugs including cocaine. The results showed he has not taken any of those drugs.

Deputy Minister of Industry & Commerce Buddhika Pathirana will also undergo a blood and urine test today for the same cause.

On February 11, State Minister Ramanayake ignited uproar when he claimed 24 parliamentarians out of the 225, were taking narcotics. He said 10 are from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, two from the National Freedom Front and 3-4 others from the UNP. He also said he does not possess sufficient information of parliamentarians of the Tamil National Alliance, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, nor the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya. The allegation came amid President Maitripala Sirisena’s move to eradicate ‘the drug menace’ in the country by adopting methods used by his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte. He is also pushing to reinstate the death penalty.

Parliamentarians say State Minister Ramanayake has to reveal the names of the narcotic abusers as it tarnishes the names of non-users.