Presence at CC: JHU defends Champika

by Saman Indrajith 

Jathika Hela Urumaya spokesman Western Provincial Councillor Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe yesterday claimed there had been nothing wrong with the presence of Megapolis and Western Province Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka’s presence at a recent Constitutional Council meeting where the one of the President’s nominees was endorsed as the new IGP.

Fielding a question during a press conference yesterday at the JHU headquarters from journalists who referred to remarks by their erstwhile colleague cum UPFA Colombo District MP Udaya Gammanpila, who stated that Minister Ranawaka, against whom a case was being heard for allegedly being involved in a hit and run accident, sitting in the CC to nominate senior DIG Pujith Jayasundara was illegal, Warnasinghe said that it was impractical to find persons who had not broken traffic laws during their lifetime.

"Almost all of us have been caught at least once for breaking minor traffic laws such as driving without regard to white lines and yellow strips. If we go by Gammanpila’s standards only persons who had not committed any traffic offence should be appointed to high posts, councils and boards, then we will not be able to fill the vacancies", he said.

The JHU spokesman said Minister Ranawaka had attended the CC meeting as the representative of the President. The issue had been raised in Parliament too and then the Speaker had inquired from President Maithripala Sirisena whether Minister Ranawaka should continue to sit there in the council. The President had conveyed to the Speaker that there was nothing illegal hence Ranawaka should be allowed to attend the CC meeting.

"Gammanpila’s statement shows nothing but hatred. According to Gammanpila, Minister Ranawaka had been able to get DIG Jayasundara’s name endorsed. Then what about other members of the CC? Are they all under the opinion of Minister Ranawaka, who is only one of the eight members there. According to Gammanpila, Minister Ranawaka favoured Jayasundara and now the new IGP was beholden to Champika. We will see whether it would happen in that manner. According to Gammanpila, nominating Jayasundara was illegal because there were others senior to him. If promotions are given only on the basis of seniority then why do we bother to refer them to the CC. All we have to do is to appoint the senior most person," Warnasinghe said.

JHU Legal Advisor Attorney-at-Law Tudor Perera said Gammanpila who was accusing Minister Ranawaka of a traffic offence should not forget that his wife too had committed a similar offence in the past. 

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