Ranjan vilified Executive, Legislature and Judiciary - Minister Ranatunga | Sunday Observer

Ranjan vilified Executive, Legislature and Judiciary - Minister Ranatunga

17 January, 2021

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 12 convicted SJB Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake for contempt of court and sentenced him to four years Rigorous Imprisonment.

The actor-turned politician was moved to the Correctional Centre for Youth Offenders in Pallansena for quarantine. MP Ramanayake admitted in his evidence that he made the statement in question saying, “the majority in Sri Lanka are corrupt judges, corrupt lawyers and they work for money.”

In the wake of the Supreme Court convicting MP Ramanayake for Contempt of Court, there is media speculation that he would most likely lose his Parliamentary seat and the vacant post would probably be filled by Ajith Mannapperuma of the SJB.

Ramanayake boarding the prison bus told the reporters “I am not afraid brother, I have not and will not apologise. I spoke the truth. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth. I have not smuggled narcotics or ethanol. I tried to expose criminals, and this is where it landed me.”

Controversial remarks

Ramanayake had made some controversial remarks outside the Supreme Court building complex on several occasions. On March, 23, 2018 he told the media, “If the Honourable Court gets some self satisfaction to conclude the proceedings with a jail sentence for me, I will very happily go to prison. I will not withdraw anything that I have said. He again said on September 5, 2018, “I will never withdraw. Even if they sentenced me to one year, two years, five years, ten years, twenty years or life imprisonment, I maintain what I have said.”

Asserting that the Government does not indulge in vindictive politics, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that the imprisonment of MP Ranjan Ramanayake was a result of his unguarded mouth. He told a recent public gathering that what befell Ramanayake was the result of his actions.

Minister Ranatunga said the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary were vilified by the previous Yahapalana Government and Ranjan played a key part in it. He said that release of Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan and Ranjan’s imprisonment were unrelated. “That is why I say that Ranjan reaped what he sowed. There is no use in pointing the finger at the Government,” he said.


A group of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarians staged a protest near the Independence Square on Wednesday, January 13 demanding the Government ensure the freedom of Speech. The Opposition lawmakers viewed the Government as violating the freedom of speech of MPs. All SJB frontliners including SJB Leader and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Harin Fernando, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Sarath Fonseka, Harsha de Silva, Rajitha Senaratne, Tissa Attanayake, Eran Wickramaratne and Manusha Nanayakkara were seen taking the lead in the protest.

Despite assurances that he would hand over the leadership of the United National Party (UNP) to Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene in January 2021, Ranil Wickremesinghe was again reappointed as the UNP Leader at the party Working Committee meeting which held on Wednesday (January 13). All nominations submitted by Party Leader Wickremesinghe for party positions for this year were approved by the Working Committee.

The UNP Working Committee unanimously appointed former Galle District MP Vajira Abeywardena as the party Chairman. The newly appointed UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara told the media, “There is no issue regarding party leadership. We have someone at the helm who has the knowledge, experience, and proven performance and who is locally and internationally accepted.”

Several changes

Several key changes were made to top positions within the party hierarchy at the Working Committee meeting. Former UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has been appointed the new UNP Assistant Leader while Ruwan Wijewardene will continue to serve as the party’s Deputy Leader.

Arjuna Ranatunga and D.M. Swaminathan were appointed as Senior Vice Chairmen and Sagala Ratnayake, Sunethra Ranasinghe and Daya Gamage as Vice Chairmen. However, the Working Committee had commended Karunanayake’s service to the party.

Karunanayake, who was the former Deputy Leader of the party, had not attended the Working Committee meeting saying that other posts are unnecessary if he is not given the post of General Secretary as the Deputy Leader at a time when the party was in a difficult situation. Former MP Navin Dissanayake, who served as the National Organiser of the party was not among those who received appointments.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who met the Ports Authority trade union representatives at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday, January 13 assured trade unionists that the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port will not be sold or leased.

The President said that he would not allow any harm to the country’s sovereignty and independence from the investments made. He said, “The former Yahapalana Government had made an agreement to sell the ECT to India. Following discussions the incumbent Government had with India, it has now been agreed to retain 51 per cent of its ownership and the administration of the Eastern Terminal with the Ports Authority.”

President Rajapaksa said that the ECT would be subject to sustainable development under the investment project. He said the ECT development project was planned after careful consideration of regional geopolitical facts, the country’s sovereignty and generation of income and job opportunities.

Democratic rights

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa told the media that the SJB will put its entire weight to safeguard democratic rights of all Sri Lankans and also SJB Parliamentarian Harin Fernando. Premadasa was referring to the remarks by the President with regard to the recent speech made by Harin Fernando in Parliament.

He said, “We will put our entire weight behind MP Fernando and take up the task of safeguarding democracy and freedom of expression. The Opposition Leader said, expressing his or her views in Parliament is a privilege enjoyed by a Parliamentarian. “We expect the IGP to enhance MP Fernando’s security. The Government will have to take the blame if something happens to him.”


Nearly 31 Members of Parliament had been asked to self-quarantine after three Parliamentarians were identified as Covid-19 positive recently. This includes 10 MPs who were identified as close associates of Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara who had tested positive for the virus.

The remaining 20 Parliamentarians are close contacts of State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and MP Rauff Hakeem, who had previously tested positive for Covid-19. Nearly 15 MPs underwent PCR tests on Wednesday, January 13 and all of them have tested negative. Another group of Parliamentarians and staff had also undergone PCR tests at the Parliament premises on Friday, January 15.

The Prime Minister’s Political Affairs Coordinating Secretary Kumarasiri Hettige and Secretary to the Chief Government Whip of Parliament Chaminda Kularatne had also tested positive for Covid-19. As reported in the media the close contacts of Kumarasiri Hettige and Chaminda Kularatne were placed in quarantine.

PC polls

Co-cabinet Spokesman Minister Udaya Gammanpila told the media that Party Leaders in the ruling coalition had decided not to hold the PC polls based on the health situation in the country. He said the PC elections will not be held until the situation in the country returns to normalcy. The Minister said when the situation improves, the Government will review the matter.

Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon had said that a Cabinet paper has already been submitted regarding the holding of the Provincial Council elections according to the old system. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had also instructed the Election Commission to take steps to hold PC elections as soon as possible.

The Premier had advised the Election Commission to take mandatory steps to hold the PC Elections and consider the legal framework of the forthcoming elections while adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines.


National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Minister Wimal Weerawansa questioned what political fronts, alliances or parties could be formed with a politician of the caliber of SJB Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka, who is willing to live in any political cesspit for his benefit.

Weerawansa in a recent interview with a private television channel said the SJB MP Ranawaka who had at one time vehemently criticised UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, has the gumption to hail the latter as a modern-day political visionary.

He was responding to a query raised at the interview on the speculation that the NFF Leader was preparing to form a new political movement with the ex-JHU General Secretary Ranawaka. The Minister said Ranawaka was nothing but a political opportunist who was prepared to step into any cesspit to further his own political agenda and asserted the SJB MP’s character has been fully understood by the electorate.


UNP seniors Ravi Karunanayake, Navin Dissanayake, Arjuna Ranatunga, Lakshman Wijemanna and Mervyn Silva conducted an Adistana Pooja at Kataragama a couple of days ago. It had raised doubt among the people whether the UNP heavyweights were planning to form a new political front as thousands of their supporters had attended the religious ceremony.

However, at the end of the program, Ravi Karunanayake who spoke to the media refuted the story of a new political front. He said that was a Deva Kannalauwa to reunite the UNP factions and rescue the country from Covid-19 pandemic.

Karunanayake said even at this juncture, all UNP leaders should be united to make joint efforts to build the party’s grassroots level. Yet another notable feature was UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene or any of his representatives had not attended the program.

However, addressing a group of UNP supporters at the UNP headquarters, Sirikotha on Friday, January 15 UNP Deputy Leader Wijewardene said that a mechanism will be put in place to bring all forces together, against the present Government, which is heading for anarchy within a short time after being elected by the people with an overwhelming majority.

Wijewardene said that the people no longer have faith in the Government and the UNP is mobilising the public against the Government at grassroots level. He said that the members of the Maha Sangha and Civil Society representatives who strove to make the present Government victorious at the last election have started criticising the Government. “The people were taken for a ride by the incumbent Government by giving promises which can never be realised,” he said.