ECONOMYNEXT – The United National Party (UNP) has not abandoned MP Ranjan Ramanayake in his supposed crusade against corruption but merely questions his methods, which will be the subject of an internal inquiry, a party senior said.
UNP parliamentarian Eran Wickramaratne told EconomyNext today that Ramanayake will be provided an opportunity to let himself be heard.
The actor-turned politician’s party membership was temporarily suspended last week following the scandal surrounding leaked telephone conversations purportedly between him and other high profile individuals.
“The UNP has not abandoned the cause which Ranjan stands for, which is to go after corruption. The UNP – and even I personally – have a problem with the methods he has used. These are ethical questions,” said Wickramaratne.
In his explosive speech in parliament on Tuesday, Ramanayake had defended his methods, arguing that in a corrupt society, the ends justify the means – a view that neither the party nor Wickramaratne personally could endorse, he said.
“To me, the ends and the means are both important. But Ranjan clearly said in parliament that to him it’s the ends that are important and the means don’t really matter. There’s a difference of opinion there.”
Defending the decision to suspend his colleague’s party membership, Wickramaratne said it was necessary in order to hold an inquiry on the allegations levelled against him.
“Mr Ramanayake’s recordings don’t only relate to corruption. Even private conversations he had have caused a lot of damage to a lot of people. The UNP hasn’t abandoned him, but has simply put on hold his membership so that a proper inquiry may be held internally,” he said.
“Mr Ramanayake must be given the opportunity to express his views. Certainly he has rights as a member of parliament. It’s only after the inquiry and obtaining all the facts that we can determine what the outcome should be,” the MP added. (Colombo/Jan23/2020)