Written by Staff Writer
22 Jan, 2020 | 9:14 pm
Colombo (News 1st): A debate ensued in Parliament today (Jan 22) as to whether Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake did in fact table the recordings of telephone conversations in Parliament.
UPFA MP Kanchana Wijesekera noted that last evening, former minister Ranjan Ramanayake made a statement in Parliament while mentioning several names including his name. He noted that during that speech, he said he would table all the recordings of the telephone conversations in Parliament. He questioned whether MP Ramanayake has already tabled it in Parliament.
Responding to this MP Ranjan Ramanayake noted that he is currently in remand custody. He added that all the CDs are in a locker at a certain bank and he has no way of travelling outside. However, he noted that he will table several telephone recordings, the ones that the government did not publish because it is detrimental to them. He also noted that he will also extend his fullest support to any commission.
MP Kanchana Wijesekera then requested the Deputy Speaker to provide Ramanayake with special permission to travel to the bank and to obtain the CDs containing the telephone recordings. However, MP Ramanayake stressed that if he is bailed out through courts he will do this within 2 days.
Meanwhile, State Minister Thilanga Sumathipala noted that his name had been mentioned yesterday when he was not present. He said he does not have any allegation on the investigation against him, locally or internationally. He requested all those who make such statements to present facts to back up their statements. He asked them not to entangle him in this and not to sling mud at him through the use of Parliament.
Further UNP MP S.M. Marikkar noted in light of Ranjan Ramanayake’s speech yesterday, a false notion has been created that all 225 in Parliament are corrupt. However, he said that he is glad that he does not belong to the 75 who have sand permits. He added that he is also glad to not be part of the 100 who own bar permits, neither does he belong to the category which imports Ethanol.
Further, he noted that he is proud to not be someone who deals with drugs or owns a betting centre. MP Marikkar said people do not need to search for alternatives, there are exemplary characters within Parliament. He stressed that Ranjan Ramanayake should be able to prove what he said as well. The parliamentarian noted that if Ramanayake tries to release himself from this issue while making others the wrongdoers, they cannot agree to that. In a way, he said they are glad he brought up such an argument because it allowed people like him (Marikkar) to show the people that they have not been involved in wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, several politicians expressed their views regarding the phone recordings to journalists. State Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage expressed the following views about the phone recordings of MP Ranjan Ramanayake at a media briefing held in Colombo.
“While investigating these CDs the Police have identified this to be an organized conspiracy against the state. Furthermore, Police have now identified that a group of MPs including former Prime Minister – Ranil Wickremesinghe has been connected to this. All this information justifies that Ranjan Ramanayake was a contractor who worked under the previous regime. See how big a fraudster Ranjan Ramanayake is. I just called General Secretary and the Sergeant at Arms in Parliament. Not a single CD has been submitted to Parliament before the session ended at 6:30 last evening. We challenge Ranjan Ramanayake to release any phone conversations recorded with the former President, former Ministers, their wives and their children pertaining to the matter of hindering judicial process as he mentioned. Or else release the ones pertaining to the deals made with the previous Government. Yesterday he asked to appoint a Presidential Commission to probe into this. But why should the President appoint a Commission? Cases have been filed against Ranjan Ramanayake. He can hand these CDs over to the court once the case is taken up. All the dirty details of this deceptive actor have now been surfaced. He confessed and tried to table some phone conversations made with members of the Government but he was not given the opportunity to release a single recording. Then he said MPs of the ruling party have talked over the phone. He said that Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has called him and I have called Keheliya Rambukwella. I talked with a former Minister of the UNP last morning over the phone. That was not for a personal matter. She asked me to handle the transfer of a Police Officer she knows.”
UNP MPs expressed their views on the phone recording at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo. MP Hesha Vithanage noted that there is no need to make Ranjan Rmanayake a hero at this point as he is not suitable to pose as a hero after what he did. He added that Ranjan Ramanayake asked to appoint a commission to look into this and reveal the truth.
Vithanage noted that they have to remind the people again how this Government attempts to sell Ranjan’s incident leading up to the General Election. He requested the government to solve the issue immediately.
MP Chandima Gamage also expressed his views;
“It was a person from Negombo who yelled the most and disturbed Ranjan Ramanayake while he was speaking. During the time when President was the Secretary of Defence, who visited this person when his house was raided? Brother of the former Defence Secretary the former President. My question is within this policy, is this combination of the President and the Prime Minister, a healthy one? They can be a brother? But are they compatible?”
News 1st has highlighted time and time again, the several hardships faced by the people of the country.
The ever increasing price of goods, the debt burden which has weighed down the people regardless of the concessions which were introduced recently and the unending difficulties faced by local farmers are but an iota of the difficulties the citizenry in our country face.
Against such a backdrop, it should be noted that 5 Forensic Audit Reports of the Central Bank Bond Scam, which squandered millions in public funds have been tabled in Parliament as of now.
Further, our country is burdened with a debt repayment which exceedsUS$ 4 billion and this should be settled this year.
The invisible threats from the international community which could arise from our country being economically destitute is another situation we should be aware and wary of.
Amid all of these hardships, threats and challenges, the legislature of our country seems to be preoccupied debating over leaked phone calls. Is this not a mere waste of the invaluable time and money of the people?
News 1st would like to reiterate what we reported on the 9th of this month, where we suggested that the matter of leaked phone calls is handed over to the proper investigative authorities while Parliament focusses on resolving the immediate challenges the people face and also preparing us to face challenges of the future.
17 Aug, 2022 | 05:49 PM
17 Aug, 2022 | 02:22 PM
Are you interested in advertising on our website or video channel
Please contact us at [email protected]