(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Former State Minister and Samagi Jana Balawegaya parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake, who was granted a presidential pardon, has left the Welikada prison.
Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, Members of Parliament Naleen Bandara and Harshana Rajakaruna were also present at the prison to welcome him.
A large number of people waited near the prison to witness the release of Mr. Ramanayake and they expressed their happiness by shouting and lighting firecrackers.
However, the Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa taking to Twitter expressed his disappointment that Ramanayake was released under 34 (1) (d) of the constitution and not under 34 (2).
“Disappointed to learn that he was released under 34 (1) (d) of the constitution which is merely a remission of his sentence rather than a full pardon with his civic and political rights intact under 34 (2),” Premadasa tweeted.
“This means he is disqualified from holding political office. Utterly disappointed!” he said.
Ramanayake has been pardoned under Article 34 (1) by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, which is a conditional pardon and will not restore his political or civil rights to hold office.
Under the Sri Lankan law, a person incarcerated for more than two years will lose his civic rights and the person should be pardoned under Article 34 (2) of the Constitution for a Full Presidential Pardon with Political Rights.
Speaking to media Opposition Leader requested President Ranil Wickremesinghe to grant a full Presidential Pardon for Ranjan Ramanayake with Political Rights.
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on 12 January 2021 sentenced former state minister and Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake for 04 years of rigorous imprisonment after convicting him of contempt of court.
Speaking to the media after a discussion with the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees on August 21, 2017, Ranjan Ramanayake had allegedly said that the majority of judges and lawyers in the country were corrupt.