The Sunday Leader

Ranjan’s ‘One Shot’ Action Condemned

by Ifham Nizam

A cross section of society including intellectuals, politicians, actors and ordinary citizens have condemned the conduct of actor turned politician Ranjan Ramanayake where he took on a journalist at a media briefing recently. The heated argument between the actor and the journalist ended up with the former hitting a video camera. The incident flared up when the Deputy Minister was about to leave after the media briefing. He accused the journalist of levelling a false allegation at him. “Malli you said I take bribes. I have not done it at any time. I don’t own a house; I don’t have accounts in the Swiss Bank. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa offered me Rs. 500 million to cross over, but I didn’t take it. Don’t make false allegations against me,” he said. The journalist, however, said he did not make any allegation against the Deputy Minister. Following are several comments made by some distinguished people about the actor’s conduct.

Prasanna Ranatunga – Parliamentarian, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)

The present regime shed crocodile tears for the betterment of journalist when they were in the opposition, often campaigning for Free Media. Now where is the Free Media Movement. Every journalist, editor and media institution was now controlled and pressurised.

Journalists were warned to shut up. We believe journalists have the right to question and they should continue to enjoy their rights unhindered. Some journalists have told us to talk openly and often they advise us to do so because they cannot do because they fear that they will be harassed in some way. We know journalists and media institutions have no hope now; they cannot question injustices and malpractices of the good governance government. The actor did a remarkable role when the journalist queried.

He did this to cover up the answer. What is the Free Media Movement doing now? They depended on the International Non Governmental Organistions for dollars and they are now silent because they are getting dollars by keeping their mouths shut.

 

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Geetha Kumarasinghe Parliamentarian and Actress

My silver screen colleague should not behave the way he did against a journalist.

Our culture and tradition is such when a visitor comes to our place he should be treated appropriately. He did the opposite by trying to throw his weight around. Is this the way to hold press conferences? I think he may have taken couple of shots –Dutch courage.

 

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Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa - Parliamentarian, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)

We often felt suspicious of the conduct of Ranjan Ramanyake. He is a person with a little thing, who tries to go to town without verifying. We felt some of his public remarks on ongoing investigations had hampered investigations and put officials at risk. We appreciate his moves in fighting against corruption and malpractices, but we cannot commend his recent conduct. He might have a hidden agenda, may be to cover up certain matters or to gain through petty politics. Above all, as a deputy minister he should maintain his dignity. He cannot behave like a bull in the China shop.

 

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Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa – Commissioner, Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission

Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake’s conduct questions the policies of the good governance government. A people’s representative should have patience. Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan puts it better when he said that journalists are the people’s voice. Public have their limit to question.

So, it is the role of the journalists to act as watchdogs and question for the betterment of society. According to Annan, journalists are the third force. They have all the rights to question irrespective of the social status of the person involved. The Prime Minister set a trend on questioning editors and journalists and now others trying to follow him. The government should act upon the conduct of Ranjan Ramanayake, especially at a time when Right to Information is discussed.

What is the action of the government against Ranjan Ramanayake? The way things are happening now, media institutions will get attacked as it was done during the previous regime. The actor should not forget his past where he highlighted wrong doings and malpractices. I think he ought to seek a public apology. Right to Information should commence in every sector, as Sri Lanka is a country where the democracy, freedom, and human rights are nourished and ensured, President Sirisena recently said. He remarked so addressing the International Conference on ‘Right to Information’ (RTI) held parallel to the International RTI Day.

According to the President, the current government was able to fulfill a long awaited requirement, as well as his election pledge he made as the Common Opposition Candidate at the Presidential Election in 2015, which the previous governments neglected and were unable to implement. The President pointed out that the unfair activities and the disturbance against the future journey of the country will also disappear with the implementation of RTI. It is high time that both President and Prime Minister take action against the politicians’ for their bad conducts.

 

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Keerthi Tennakoon – Executive Director, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE)

Questions should be asked. Investigative journalism should be encouraged. But there is a way to do everything. When Ranjan Ramanayake was in the opposition, he fearlessly came forward to fight against the dictatorial regime. However, crossing the line should not be encouraged.
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Sanjay Leelaratne - Actor cum film Director

It was Ranjan Ramanayake, who said recently in The Sunday Leader, “You are engaging in a responsible job. Your sword is your pen and you can do numerous things using your pen.

Our government had re-established media freedom which was lost during the previous regime.

No white vans, no threats, no transfers of journalists now.

Therefore I request the media to question anybody engaged in corruption, without any hesitation.

As we promised, pledges will be fulfilled. The people trusted in us and gave us their votes, and we will not let them down and all the promises we have made will be fulfilled.

Just trust in us and give us a bit of time. However, we are not like the previous regime and we have ensured full freedom for journalists and we will deliver on our promises.

Even journalists who have been writing against the President, he has taken them to his media unit. That is the level of freedom that we have given journalists today.”

People now know his true face; he proved that he is a good actor.

 

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Hemasiri Sellapperuma - Film Director/Producer

Ranjan is one of the brilliant finds especially when it comes to commercial movies. He also did some remarkable roles in the artistic movies. He had acted in most of my films and most of them were super hits. Well… I have nothing to say about his conduct where he was questioned by a journalist. I often wondered why he is creeping into a field which is not his forte. I often believe that he is being used as bait by some politicians.

Ranjan is a multi talented actor. There is no doubt about it. He came in the hard way to the Silver screen. We think it was the other way he came to the political arena. Short cuts would not last long. I feel sorry for him. He should focus more on acting rather than politics. I don’t know whether he wants to do a villain role in real life now. Politics is an ideal platform for him to play a black character…at whatever cost.”

 

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Mahendra Perera – Renowned Stage Drama and Film Actor

I have to say only one sentence about Ranjan Ramanayake’s conduct. “I am very sad about what happened.”

 

 

 

5 Comments for “Ranjan’s ‘One Shot’ Action Condemned”

  1. Mahen

    Ranjan means well and he is clean and caring. Unfortunately he appears to be emotional and that gets the better of him at times when he should remain calm and collected.
    Any day I would prefer him to rogues like Prasanna Ranatunge who has absolutely no conscience or integrity. How did you end up asking such a unworthy individual for a comment?

  2. Rasheed

    Ranjan is human and he is not saint, sometimes purposely journalist unnecessary question to provoke them. many times they tried this with Mervyn Silva but they received very good answers.

  3. Lal.Fernando.

    This man Ranjan to behave like this , i am sure he is an uneducated human being.This what happen when people like that allow to enter politics.

    I like to know what sort of education back ground he got?

  4. Sira

    There is only one way to sort this chandia who smash cameras and threaten journos . Cardboard chandiya vs Namal Rajapaksa in the Parliament Car park. Toe to toe bare knuckle. That’s how old day true chandiya proved him self.

  5. Ajantha

    Representing people’s voice is different from trying to ridicule some one. What we, the general public can see very often now is that majority of journalists are abusing the new found freedom trying to ridicule some one being questioned asking things that are not at all in the public interest. They represent only their political masters’ interests. The question in subject is also just that. Ranjan, no doubt should have been more patient, but more than that the journalist should have acted like a “පත්තරකාරයා” but not like a “බෝතල් පත්තරකාරයා”.

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