Jan 21, Colombo: Parliamentarian and former state minister Ranjan Ramanayake today (21) in parliament apologized to all those, who were aggrieved by the recordings of their phone conversations with him leaked to the media.
MP Ramanayake, who is in remand custody over the controversial audio recordings, had requested the Secretary General of Parliament to allow him to attend parliamentary sessions. The MP was brought to Parliament from the remand prison under heavy security.
Although Mr. Ranjan Ramanayake requested to make a special statement, the Speaker did not grant him permission. Later, he was allowed to make a statement outside the parliamentary debate.
Making a statement, the parliamentarian said he never intended to make recordings of his phone conversations public and sincerely apologizes to all those who were personally harmed by the publicity of the audio tapes.
“I apologize to everybody, including MP Hirunika Premachandra, who have been affected by the telecast of the audio tapes. I did not deliberately expose the tapes to the detriment of anyone's family life or peace. I have kept those voice recordings for my own defense because there are people who change their words.”
The parliamentarian said a media channel owned by a famous businessman in Sri Lanka is responsible for the release of his audio tapes.
MP Ramanayake said they came to power to put the thieves who stole money from public inside not to release them and invited everyone to battle the corruption. As an effort he said, he will table all the voice recordings between himself and other officials of the government in parliament as the public has a right to know.
MP Ramanayke also said he was tabling recordings of all his phone conversations in Parliament as currently, interested groups were selectively leaking only recordings that were deemed advantages to them.
“The Chief Justice, the judges and the heads of state spoke with me fearlessly. The people have a right to know what they have said. There is the voice of the Head of State. There are cabinet ministers. There are wives and children of cabinet ministers. They have spoken of their grievances. I table the recordings of all of them.”
The MP said public asks him why he did such a deed. “I am a member of the COPE committee. The COPE committee is investigating corruption and fraud. I am also a member of the select committee on Corruption and fraud. Along with COPE chairman Sunil Handunneththi, I actively participated in the COPE investigations,” the MP explained.
MP Ramanayake explained that the public always wants to see evidence when a large scale corruption or fraud such as Tsunami scam, Central Bank bond scam, Avant Garde case, is revealed. He said he was gathering evidence because people involved in these have a habit of changing their words and witnesses can be bought to change or retract their accounts.