The Chairman of the National Movement for Social Justice Karu Jayasuriya has requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to consider granting a presidential pardon to Ranjan Ramanayake.
Commenting on the deteriorating health condition of the former MP, Jayasuriya said that he believes Ranjan Ramanayake has already paid for the insult he had allegedly directed at the judiciary.
"However, as far as we know, Ranjan Ramanayake is not currently in good health while in prison. We therefore kindly request all parties to reconsider this sentence in a humane manner. We urge the Hon. President to pay attention to this. We hope that his heart, which has melted for many, will also melt for Ranjan Ramanayake," Jayasuriya said.
Issuing a statement on Thursday (28), the former Speaker said:
"Reports from all quarters today indicate that our country is rapidly deteriorating. Last week we pointed out that the country's economy is in a severe collapse.
We pointed out that the foreign exchange reserves are declining rapidly, that millions of dollars are essential for the repayment of foreign loan installments in the next few months, and that we are unable to issue letters of credit for essential imports.
We have also come to know about another group who are facing difficulties due to this situation. These are the Sri Lankan children studying abroad.
On the one hand, our children living in the country have also lost their right to education today. The school system in the country is closed. All universities are closed. Those responsible have failed to provide them with alternative education opportunities.
Meanwhile, a situation has arisen where our children who are studying abroad are unable to obtain the required course fees transferred to those countries.
The economy of our country has deteriorated to such an extent. But the rulers of this country are acting as if they are from another world altogether and are trying to deceive the people by telling fairy tales to the people.
They do not seem to be even formulating a proper vision or program to ensure the country recovers from this situation.
We are deeply shocked and pained about this situation. The government should explain the situation to the people of the country.
They must present their plans and future actions to the people. The people of this country should also be aware of this difficult situation. I hope all relevant parties will pay attention to these issues.
Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy
Today our country is bankrupt not only economically but politically as well. This is the situation in the country today. The rulers do not seem to pay any attention to the feelings of the people.
Today the law of this country seems to be applied differently to each person. It seems that one law is in force for government politicians and another for opposition politicians.
That is why we pay special attention to Ranjan Ramanayake today. He is a well known actor in South Asia. He has acted in nearly a hundred films. He has won the Best Actor award at the prestigious Sarasaviya and OCIC Film Awards in Sri Lanka.
He has also won awards as the most popular actor in Sri Lanka over the years and has directed a number of films. He is also a very humble person.
We have not heard that he is involved in any of the frauds and corruptions that are often heard in this country. Nor is he a criminal.
Accordingly, we also draw attention to his fate today. He has already paid for the insult he allegedly directed at the judiciary. We are not going to question that. But there is a question in the society as to whether his sentence should have been so severe. There is a dialogue in the judiciary regarding this as well.
Considering the recent punishments given by other democratic countries, especially the Supreme Court of India, for such offenses, we consider it a positive trend that there is a dialogue in our country on this issue.
However, as far as we know, Ranjan Ramanayake is not currently in good health while in prison. We therefore kindly request all parties to reconsider this sentence in a humane manner.
We urge the Hon. President to pay attention to this. We hope that his heart, which has melted for many, will also melt for Ranjan Ramanayake.
We respectfully request that he consider the legal procedures and traditions that he may adopt under the Presidential pardon. I request you to consider this as an appeal from the people on behalf of Ranjan Ramanayake.
PCoI on Political Victimisation
Such decisions can only be made by laws of the jungle
At the same time, there is another important issue that we would like to draw the attention of the government. That is the injustice that can be caused by the recommendations of the Upali Abeyratne Commission. The recommendations made under the pretext of providing relief for political revenge have flouted the laws of this country.
It has recommended the acquittal and release of the accused in a number of cases filed by the Hon. Attorney General based on very clear evidence. It also recommended that a number of active politicians representing the opposition be severely punished.
Such decisions can only be made by laws of the jungle. Such things do not happen in any civilized country. If such illegal recommendations are made by a commission in such a country, the legal community and the legislature of that country will be the first to oppose it.
As far as we know, several parties have gone to court against the recommendations of this commission. But the parliament of this country does not seem to be fulfilling its responsibility there. The highest responsibility lies with the Hon. Prime Minister. At the very least he should take the initiative and remove these recommendations from the order book of Parliament.
In the midst of all this, we would like to draw the Government's attention once again to an issue that has been repeatedly emphasized by the National Movement for Social Justice.
That is, about some of the members who have been appointed to independent commissions since the 20th Amendment. Among them is a group who worked in the Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) operations office.
Among them are a number of political party activists. It's a very ugly situation. It is also a serious matter that can never be justified. The international community is already paying attention to this. Therefore, we request the Hon. President to rectify this situation without delay.
And we never hesitate to appreciate the government when they should be appreciated. Recently, the Hon. President made several appointments related to the Judicial Service. The Attorney General and two judges of the High Court have been given new appointments. These appointments have been made in a proper manner with transparency. We appreciate that.
As a country, we must not compromise the rights of our citizens. Fundamental rights, including the right to speech, must be respected.
Even in the case of an arrest, it must be in accordance with the law of the land. They should not happen in a way where people are seemingly abducted. We have to talk about this because we cannot approve of the recent arrest of Asela Sampath by a group of CID officers.
Also, the Police as well as politicians should act responsibly during public protests. We strongly condemn the shameless attack on a local politician by a mob during a recent protest in Rideemaliyadda.
Furthermore, justice should be done to all those who were attacked. In order for them to get justice, first of all, the law must be enforced against all those involved in the attack. There cannot be no one law for politicians and another law for ordinary people in the country. If this continues in the country, the day will not be far off when those responsible in this country will be able to see the consequences.
Although the vast majority of the people in this country are silent due to the Covid epidemic, do not expect it to always remain so never underestimate the power of the people. We hope that the government will identify this correctly."