Police last night arrested United National Party Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake for possession of an unlicensed pistol, after they conducted an extensive search of his official residence at the Madiwela Housing Complex.
Issuing a statement last night, Police Headquarters said that officers had also found 127 rounds of 9mm ammunition used for the pistol as well as several “suspicious documents” from the MP’s residence.
Colombo South Crime Investigation Division officers conducted the search after obtaining a warrant from the Gangodawila Magistrate’s Court.
Police said the warrant was obtained following a complaint over a CD containing material designed to embarrass the Government.
As the police searched his house, Mr. Ramanayake livestreamed the search on his Facebook page. He claimed that police had seized his laptop together with the CDs and DVDs in his home. A file he had on the murder of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen was also taken by police, he said on Twitter.
Mr Ramanayake also claimed that the pistol police found had been issued to him legally, though he admitted to having failed to renew its licence.
UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe too later arrived at Mr Ramanayake’s residence and spoke to police. He demanded to know on what grounds the police were searching Mr Ramanayake’s residence and whether Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had been informed. Police claimed they had informed the Speaker prior to coming to the house.
The incident was not without its humour. At one point, Mr Ramanayake told police that the box they were removing was the master copy of his film “Navariyan.” In another instance, he recommended that the policemen also watch his film ‘Oneshot’
“You can all watch that at your leisure,” he quipped. When police were removing his laptop, the MP asked, “But how can I access Facebook now?” When police were taking his CDs, Mr Ramanayake pointed out that some of them were his movies. “We don’t know that,” one policeman said, pointing out that the CDs did not have covers. “We’ll have to watch the lot and see for ourselves,” he told the MP.
“I have not done any crime but in case if I get arrested I will go to prison not hospital. I am in good health and ready to face any repercussion for speaking the truth,” the MP said on Twitter.
Last month Opposition MPs Patali Champika Ranawaka and Rajitha Senaratne were arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Mr Ranawaka was arrested in connection with a road accident that took place in 2016 while Dr Senaratne was taken into custody over his role in organising a media conference fronted by two individuals who claimed to have taken part in “white van abductions” during the Rajapaksa Government.