Ranjan not restricted from political activities - Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe | Sunday Observer
Disqualified from contesting elections

Ranjan not restricted from political activities - Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

28 August, 2022

The Presidential pardon on former SJB Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake does not restrict him from engaging in political activities. However, it disqualifies him from contesting elections, Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

He said Ramanayaka is ineligible to serve as an MP and is subject to Constitutional conditions.

Dr. Rajapakshe said this in response to our question whether Ranjan Ramanayake could now engage in politics like earlier. The former Social Empowerment Deputy Minister Ramanayake told the media after his pardon on Friday that his mouth is zipped. The Supreme Court sentenced Ramanayake to four years’ rigorous imprisonment for contempt of Court on January 12, 2021.

Minister Rajapakshe said, “Ranjan was given a conditional pardon, not a full pardon. He has a remaining term of the original punishment that was served by the Court.”

“Whether Ranjan would be given a full pardon or respite may be decided on as the President may deem fit,” he said. When asked if the Court had imprisoned Ranjan Ramanayaka for criticising the judiciary and its members, would not that make the Court a dictator in a democratic republic, Rajapakshe said, “It is a misunderstanding to think that the judiciary punished Ramanayake because he criticised it. He was sentenced to jail for contempt of Court- for committing an offence of contempt of Court, and not for criticising.”

“Ranjan is not restricted as a person or a politician. He is only disqualified from contesting elections because of his conditional pardon.”

According to legal experts, Ranjan could not prove his statements regarding the Courts, one of which was: “The majority in Sri Lanka is corrupt judges.” Ranjan’s statements did not hold water, they said.

As a State Minister, Ranjan Ramanayake, on December 14, 2017, March 23 and June 4, 2018, had publicly said. “The majority in Sri Lanka is corrupt Judges and corrupt lawyers. They protect murderers, corrupt people, and drug dealers for money.”

Ramanayake was granted a Presidential pardon based on an affidavit presented by him to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

In his affidavit, Ranjan Ramanayake stated that he would no longer act in any manner or make any statements that are in contempt of Court.

He had stated in his affidavit that what he said about the judiciary was utterly wrong, and he had apologised for causing disrespect to the Chief Justice and the members of the judiciary.