Call for Presidential Commission full probe | Daily News


Ranjan phone conspiracies:

Call for Presidential Commission full probe

Targeting of politicians:
interference with judiciary, police :

Calls are growing within the Government parliamentary group for an independent Presidential Commission to begin probing the can of worms opened up with the telephone recordings by UNP MP and cinema idol Ranjan Ramanayaka of calls with senior police and judicial officers regarding investigations and court prosecutions during the previous Yahapalanaya regime. The SLPP and allies’ parliamentary group had discussed the possibility of launching a comprehensive probe to expose the various machinations revealed in current investigations into Ramanayaka and the unearthed hoard of telephone conversation recordings, government sources yesterday told the Daily News.

They said the government group was hoping that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would initiate such a process, as the public was getting concerned about the degree of political influence over the police and judiciary being exposed with the Ramanayaka phone tape revelations.

“We discussed that a Committee comprising independent judges who have not been in service during the time these instances were taking place , should be appointed to probe them. Due process rights should be ensured to those whose rights for fair trial might have been violated or taken away by such political intrusions,” one source said.

Meanwhile, State Minister of Information & Communication Technology Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told a news conference yesterday that a commission should be set up to punish such offenders regardless of their power or positions.

UNP MP Nalin Paddy Jayamaha, when asked to comment, said: “MP Ranjan Ramanayaka, then a Minister of State, had every right to speak to every public official. Besides, I don’t think he’s interfered with the judiciary or the police,” Jayamaha said. “First of all, the report of the government analyst will be required to determine the validity of the audio clips,” he said.

Meanwhile, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna MP Sunil Handunnetti, commenting on the Ramanayaka phone audio clips, said: “The law is the tool of rulers. I have nothing special to say about it, except I do not know much about it.”

Government MP Chandima Weerakkody also calling for an independent presidential commission, told the Daily News : “It is best that we (the politicians) do not become inquirers about this matter, because it would pave the way for those politicians who are involved in these acts to accuse us of using political power to suppress it.”

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