The Court of Appeal will hear the Writ of Quo Warranto challenging Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s seat in Parliament on January 31.
The petitioner claimed that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe was a shareholder of Lake House Printers and Publishers, a private company that is engaged in business activities with the government. Therefore, the petitioner said, Wickremesinghe had no authority to function as a Parliamentarian.
Wickremesinghe is a minor shareholder of the company. In addition to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, his cousin and Defence State Minister Ruwan Wijewardena is also a minor shareholder of the company. The largest shareholder of Lake House Printers and Publisher is Ranjith Wijewardena, Wickremesinghe’s uncle and the Chairman of Wijeya Newspapers Group.
The petitioner is Sharmila Gonawala, a political activist and an ardent supporter of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The petition was filed after the Court of Appeal barred former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from functioning in his purported position as the Prime Minister, by way of an interim order issued in relation to a Quo Warranto case filed by 122 MPs in the House challenging Rajapaksa’s continuation in office despite a no-confidence motion being passed in Parliament.