#MeToo: Sexual harassment allegations raised against Arjuna Ranatunga

An Indian flight attendant has accused Former Sri Lanka captain and Minister for Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga of sexual harassment.

The woman narrated the alleged incident in a lengthy Facebook post in which she says that the former cricketer had sexually harassed her at a hotel in Mumbai. The post also contains some of the other sexual harassment encounters she has faced in the past.

During a visit to India, Ranatunga allegedly grabbed the woman by her waist. The woman allegedly later ran to the hotel reception and complained about Ranatunga's actions but the staff allegedly told her, "It is your private matter."

"My star struck colleague spotted Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers in the elevator of Hotel Juhu Centaur, Mumbai and decided to meet them in their room for autographs. I decided to chaperone her, fearing for her safety, we were offered drinks (perhaps laced) I declined and stuck to my bottle of water I'd brought along. They were 7 and we 2, they latched the room door putting the chain secure. My discomfort growing inside of me, I urged her to get back to our room’, the woman wrote in her Facebook post.

"She was smitten and wanted to go for a stroll by the poolside, this was at 1900 hrs, the walk to the pool a desolate, unlit pathway at the back of the hotel, I look back to find (her friend) and the Indian cricketer nowhere in sight.

"Ranatunga grabs me by waist, sliding his hands along the side of my breasts, I scream fearing the worst, kicking on his legs and feet. Threatening him of dire consequences, passport cancellation, reporting it to the cops etc., for he is a Sri Lankan misbehaving with an Indian. Wasting no time, I dashed for the hotel reception a good run on an incline screaming on top of my voice. The reception said, "it is your private matter" and that they can't help me," she wrote.

Ranatunga is one of Sri Lanka's most celebrated cricketers. He had led the country to World Cup glory in 1996. He scored 5105 runs in 93 Tests and 7456 runs in 269 ODIs.

The Me Too movement has gathered storm in India after Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta accused veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on a film set back in 2010.

Since Dutta's allegations, a lot of women from various fields has come out to speak about their own sexual harassment encounters.

 

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