Feb 19, Colombo: State Minister of Highways and Road Development, Ranjan Ramanayake Monday said he had handed over the information on 24 ministers and parliamentarians, who are using narcotics including cocaine, to the Speaker and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
Ramanayake said not only cabinet, state and deputy ministers and parliamentarians, but also the Provincial Councilors and Pradeshiya Sabha members are among the politicians using drugs. A large number of staff members of MPs and senior officials were among others who used cocaine, he said addressing a media conference held at his official residence at Madiwela on Monday (18).
The media briefing was called to further comment on a claim made by the Minister previously that there are cabinet ministers who use drugs.
The State Minister said he would not however, reveal the names since it will hinder the investigations.
Ramanayake further explained that it will cost only Rs. 42,000 to do a blood test privately to ascertain the presence of drugs in drug users and if the politicians want to prove their innocence they can also subject to a blood test and provide a report.
"Only Rs. 42 000 is needed, per person, to do a drug test. I will soon hand over a blood report to the Speaker and other MPs should do the same," he said.
Ramanayake, said a parliamentarian representing plantation workers and a party leader, is also among the ministers using cocaine, while a parliamentarian in Negombo and a provincial councilor representing Hambantota district are engaged in the drug trade.
The State Minister said there are information that religious leaders are also among the drug users while three politicians representing Matale, Puttalam and Kurunegala districts are involved in an ethanol racket. ,
The state minister said that there are also drug addicts among the UNP parliamentarians. The only party with no drug users is the JVP, he said.
Ramanayake added that a large number of politicians and their family members were also involved in the drug trade and only a few officials including the head of the Special Task Force DIG M.R. Latiff and head of the CID, Shani Abeysekera could be trusted.