Ranawaka was produced before the Magistrate after 10.00 pm last night, and was remanded in connection with his involvement in a 2016 road accident.
The fast-unfolding scenes took place with the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) taking the former Minister into custody last evening, over his involvement in the road accident, which caused serious injuries to a motorcyclist.
Several UNP MPs, including MP Sajith Premadasa, visited Ranawaka at the CCD, where a statement as recorded from the former Minister before he was taken to Court.
Ranawaka was taken into custody on the advice of the Attorney General, who directed that the MP be arrested and produced in Court. It has been alleged that the CCTV footage of the accident was deleted at the behest of Ranawaka, a charge that he has however denied.
When Police arrived at Ranawaka’s house last evening, the MP’s arrest was livestreamed over Facebook by his supporters. Before being led away, the MP said he was being arrested in an illegal manner, without an arrest warrant, and without informing Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.
The law, he said, requires the Speaker to be kept informed if MPs are being taken into custody.
Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was among those who gathered at Ranawaka’s residence as news of his arrest became public.