Ranjan cannot attend Parliament due to legal processes - Speaker | Daily News

Ranjan cannot attend Parliament due to legal processes - Speaker

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced in Parliament yesterday that Opposition MP Ranjan Ramanayake would not be allowed to attend Parliament due to ongoing legal processes.

Making a Special Statement in Parliament yesterday, the Speaker said that he had been notified by Court to maintain the status quo and said MP Ramanayake would not be invited to attend Parliament until a verdict is given regarding his petition filed in the Supreme Court.

The Opposition, however, requested the Speaker to request the prison authorities to bring Ramanayake to Parliament, in the same manner that several others were allowed.

Ramanayake is currently serving a sentence on charges of Contempt of Court. The Supreme Court sentenced him to four years of Rigorous Imprisonment.

Subsequent to Ramanayake’s conviction, Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera had informed the Secretary-General of Parliament that the MP’s seat in Parliament has become vacant.

However, the Court of Appeal today instructed the Parliament Secretary-General to refrain from taking steps to fill Ramanayake’s vacant seat until February 12, 2021.

The Court issued the directive after Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena informed Parliament in January that he would seek legal opinion on MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s Parliamentary Seat.

The Opposition MPs accused the Speaker of discrimination stating that MP Premalal Jayasekara, who had been convicted on murder charges had been allowed to attend Parliament while denying Ramanayake that opportunity.

However, the Speaker stood his ground and rejected the SJB MPs’ requests stating that he will not invite Ramanayake to Parliament due to Court proceedings.