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Speaker’s stance on Ranjan’s seat tomorrow: SJB

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana is scheduled to announce his standpoint about the parliamentary seat of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake tomorrow (9), SJB National Organiser Tissa Attanayake told The Morning.

“The Speaker, in response to a request made by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa in Parliament that Ramanayake should be allowed to attend parliamentary sessions since Ramanayake’s parliamentary seat will be valid for six more months, said that he would announce his opinion in three weeks after evaluating the legal situation in this connection,” Attanayake said, adding that this three-week period ends tomorrow.

The Supreme Court on 12 January sentenced Ramanayake to four years of rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court. Later, the SJB sought the assistance of the Supreme Court and Appeal Court regarding Ramanayake’s sentence and parliamentary seat. 

Attanayake went on to say that the SJB, with the assistance of its lawyers, is planning further legal action as it feels that Ramanayake’s sentence was excessive when comparing it to contempt of court cases in India.

Meanwhile, SJB Parliamentarian Mujibur Rahuman said that, in a context where the existing laws do not stipulate the sentence for contempt of court cases, legal experts say that Ramanayake should be allowed to keep his parliamentary seat until it is legally annulled.