MP Ranjan Ramanayake cannot be allowed to attend sessions following the request made by the Court of Appeal to maintain the current 'status quo' till the proceedings with regard to the appeals filed by the MP are looked into, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene informed Parliament today.
The Speaker informed the House of his decision when Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and other SJB MPs requested him to allow Mr. Ramanayake to attend sessions.
Mr. Premadasa requested the Speaker to allow Mr. Ramanayake to attend sessions in the same way he allowed MP Premalal Gunasekera, who was convicted of murder, to attend sessions. “You must not treat Mr. Jayasekera and Mr. Ramanayake differently,” he said.
“Mr. Jayasekera was allowed to attend the sessions following the appeal he submitted and the judiciary allowed him to attend House sessions,” the Speaker said.
“Mr. Jayasekera’s verdict was given by the District High Court while he challenged this in the Court of Appeal. In Ramanayake’s case, the verdict was given by the Supreme Court. One cannot appeal against a Supreme Court decision. Therefore the 'status quo' with regard to Mr. Ramanayake is rigorous imprisonment,” he said.
MP Rauff Hakeem who came up with different suggestions, proposed a legislation be presented to Parliament on Contempt of Court while there should be a legislation on policy of sentencing.
State Minister Nimal Lansa said the opposition MPs should not engage in challenging the Supreme Court ruling given on Mr. Ramanayake.
"We see opposition MPs claiming that the sentence given to MP Ramanayake is too hasty. This is challenging the Supreme Court decision,” he said.(Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)