Written by Lahiru Fernando
28 Oct, 2016 | 10:29 pm
The COPE report confirmed today that the former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran is directly responsible for the Bond Scam.
The recommendations of the committee report calls for legal action against Arjuna Mahendran and all other central bank officials who are responsible for the scam..
“.. We investigated the transaction that took place on the 27th of February 2015. The committee notes that according to the evidence presented before the committee and the information that we gathered there is a reasonable doubt that the former Governor of the Central Bank interfered in this process.” said MP Sunil Handunnetti (Chairman – COPE)
* The committee believes there is reasonable doubt, that lack of transparency and the manner in which the transaction was conducted resulted in a betrayal of the trust placed in the Central Bank.
* The COPE committee has also observed that one primary dealer, Perpetual treasuries, was able to earn a large profit through the bond transactions that took place during the period.
* Action recommended to be taken against the Central bank Officials and institutions involved as well as take measures to reclaim from the responsible persons the loss or damages caused to the state and the people.
“We also reiterate that judicial action must be taken against these offences. The former Governor of the Central Bank is directly responsible for the controversial bond transaction, and the committee recommends legal action be taken against him and the other central bank officials involved in this transaction ..” the COPE Chairman.
* Investigation should be conducted into the manner in which Perpetual Treasuries earned a massive profit within a short period of time.
* The committee reminded the Central Bank that it is their responsibility to uncover whether a financial loss has been incurred reiterated that the Parliament should intervene directly to ensure that the Central Bank implements the recommendations of COPE as well as prevents re-occourance of such incidents..
* It is the Parliament’s responsibility to ensure that the Government recovered the losses they incurred.
* The Central Bank and other institutions should provide guarantees to implement rigorous mechanisms that will ensure the non recurrence of such incidents.
* Appointment of an observer group by the Executive to monitor and look back at the manner in which the Central Bank calls for and awards financial tenders.
* Priority must be given to state institutions when the Central Bank aims to raise money through bonds and also calls for the creation of a mechanism to look into the activities of the Primary and Secondary markets.
* COPE calls for the Guidelines on Public Debt Management to be updated and the amendment of the exchange commission act in-order to maintain transparency and trust in the Central Bank.
Chairman of COPE Sunil Handunnetti has revealed that all members of COPE have agreed on the recommendations of the report. He however notes that there is a division among the members along the lines of the report and the report with footnotes.
Incidentally MP Ranjan Ramanayake who is also a member of the committee on Public enterprises has not signed either report. However, he he told news 1st when contacted that he pledged his support to the COPE chairman in a phone conversation.
“I have no political friends. I cannot provide a statement on the foot notes. I think there is a mistake here” added MP Ramanayake
Media organizations that report on activities of COPE should be summoned before COPE, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said in Parliament today (Oct 28)
COPE member and State Minister Senasinghe says that the activities of COPE are not open to the media.
” You have the power to summon these media institutions before COPE and question them” said the State Minister.
Reacting to the statements of Minister Senasinghe, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the media is being threatened after taking the matter to the public.
“We need to tell this to the Prime Minister and his disciples. Do not dip your whole body in a pit of feces and point the finger at the media.” said JVP Leader Dissanayake.
“The UNP members of COPE surrendered because the chairman of the committee worked with a straight backbone, and because the media created a public opinion about this. It is not the journalists that should be brought before COPE It is the UNP members of COPE and the the ministers of the UNP who are not in COPE that should be brought before it..” MP Bimal Rathnayake (Member – COPE)
The other side of the story? well, News 1st attempted to contact Arjuna Mahendran to obtain his response to the matter, however our attempts proved futile since he has traveled overseas.
If Arjuna Mahendran wants to provide an explanation in this regard, News 1st is ready to grant him the opportunity to do so.
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