It wasn’t a mere traffic offence: Gammanpila
Posted on December 24th, 2019

Lahiru Pothmulla Courtesy Daily Mirror

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader Udaya Gammanpila said today former minister Patali Champika Ranawaka was not arrested in connection with a mere traffic offence as claimed by UNP MPs but over several allegations.

He told a news briefing that UNP MPs Ajith P Perera and Nalin Bandara had said Mr. Ranawaka was remanded over a minor traffic offence which could have ended up in a fine.

“According to what transpired in Court, Mr. Ranawaka was arrested for reckless driving and other serious allegations levelled against him. Fleeing the scene of the accident, misguiding the Court by producing someone else as the one who drove the car at the time of the accident, threatening the witnesses, destroying evidence and obstructing the duties of the police personnel are other allegations against him. That’s why he was remanded,” Mr. Gammanpila said.

He said attempts were being made to intimidate the friends of the victim of the Rajagiriya accident to prevent them from giving evidence in Court.

That is why a complaint was lodged at the police station that the youth, including the victim, involved in the Rajagiriya accident was riding motorcycles with engine capacity exceeding 1000 CC. If there is no ulterior motive, why make a complaint after four years of silence. Police should take action against the bogus complainants for intimidating the witnesses,” the MP said.

He said the conduct of the Speaker in the aftermath of Mr. Ranawaka’s arrest was biased and that no law, circular or tradition had been violated when carrying out the arrest.

The Speaker has visited the MP in prison. Eleven of our MPs were remanded but he never visited any of them or issued a statement. The Speaker says that Mr. Ranawaka’s arrest was erroneous. However, according to the circular issued by IGP on April 10, 2015, the Speaker should be informed immediately after or before the arrest of an MP. I repeat it says ‘immediately after or before the arrest.’ This means the Speaker can be informed after an arrest is made. The police have however informed the Deputy Speaker about an hour prior to the arrest,” the MP said. 

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