UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday asked members of his parliamentary group not to make statements on ongoing court cases.
Wickremesinghe, according to a statement issued by the Central Bureau of Sirikotha, directed MPs to address issues responsibly and refrain from commenting in case they weren’t sufficiently informed of various situations.
Sirikotha said so in the wake of the government taking up MP Ranjan Ramanayake recent comment on an impending Supreme Court ruling.
The government earlier in the day alleged that the UNP had sought to influence and undermine the Supreme Court as regards a crucial ruling on the dissolution of parliament announced by President Maithripala Sirisena on Nov. 09.
President Sirisena set the parliamentary polls for January 05, 2019.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Nov. 13 suspended the dissolution pending ruling on Dec. 7 in respect of the petitions against the dissolution. The government later moved SC for a fuller bench comprising 5 or 7 judges.
Addressing the media at the Prime Minister’s Office, Government spokesman MP Dullas Alahapperuma alleged that MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s claim that three out of five judges would side with the UNP was meant to pressure the Supreme Court. The MP was flanked by Housing and Social Welfare Minister Wimal Weerawansa and MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.
The MP insisted that MP Ramanayake made that claim in a live television debate on Derana last Tuesday, representing the UNP. Recalling a spate of incidents involving UNP and the judiciary at various levels, the SLFPer alleged that MP Ramanayake have made calculated move to influence the judiciary.
Alahapperuma said that MPs couldn’t under any circumstances comment on ongoing court cases. During the past two years, various members of the UNP-led government had made predictions as regards court rulings in high profile cases, he said.
MP Alahapperuma later in the day told The Island former PM Wickremesinghe couldn’t absolve his party of the responsibility for the situation created by MP Ramanayake by merely issuing instructions to his parliamentary group.