Former Sri Lanka minister jailed for two years for contempt

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Tuesday jailed former agriculture minister and leading opposition figure S. B. Dissanayake for contempt after he made a speech critical of judges. Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Tuesday jailed former agriculture minister and leading opposition figure S. B. Dissanayake for contempt after he made a speech critical of judges. Dissanayake, who is also a legislator from the main opposition United National Party, was escorted to prison shortly after Chief Justice Sarath Silva read out the verdict after a lengthy trial.

Following the conviction, he automatically loses his seat in parliament and will be disqualified from contesting any future election.

No appeal is possible against a Supreme Court verdict.

Dissanayake was initially a staunch loyalist of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, but fell out of favour in 2001 and led a split that saw the collapse of her government in that year.

He aligned himself with former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, but after a brief stay in government lost the April elections to Kumaratunga’s Marxist-backed Freedom Alliance.

He was charged with making a speech at a southern Sri Lankan town in November