Cabinet spokesman, Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that his son Ramith was a sleep walker and had even consulted doctors. He surmised that Ramith may have sleep walked during the-flight.
Addressing the weekly-Cabinet briefing today, the minister said that he was dismayed and disappointed by the virulent ‘media stir’ focusing on his son Ramith’s behaviour.
“I am extremely sad that the local media gave such prominence to this incident based on the one and only statement allegedly made by a woman passenger onboard the flight that he was drunk. Besides, it was not a direct or exclusive report but had been taken from the ‘Daily Mail, London. You will have to reconsider whether this is unbiased media,” he said,
He claimed that British Airways had exonerated Ramith after a urine test for alcohol.
“BA did not consider it a big issue, but rather a routine mishap. But our media friends in Sri Lanka made a mountain out of this molehill. Is this ethically correct? I do not know,” he said.
Mr. Rambukwella said the initial report commenting on his son’s unsteady walk to the door of the aircraft along the aisle after a long sleep was that he was either drunk or dazed. The London media had struck off ‘dazed’ and taken the word drunk and that was how he was made a drunkard.
He said it was a great relief that he was released by BA without further action and added that the incident would not be a hindrance to his continuing to play cricket. He added, however, that a separate inquiry had been initiated in Sri Lanka.
“Let’s wait for the outcome of this inquiry,” he said. (Sandun Jayasekera and Lahiru Pothmulla)