UNP media briefing goes sour for Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva (VIDEO)

UNP media briefing goes sour for Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva (VIDEO)

Written by Lahiru Fernando

30 Oct, 2016 | 11:29 pm

A media briefing was convened at the UNP Headquarters ‘Sirikotha’ on Sunday, October 30 to clarify the party’s position on the COPE report on Central Bank bond issuance.

During the briefing, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva acknowledged that there are no two reports but one from the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), and that it is the one which carries the 14 recommendations of the Auditor General.

The Deputy Minister also stated that all members of COPE have agreed with all the general recommendations.

Question by a Journalist:

“On the part of the government, it was said on many occasions that nothing has been revealed through the COPE investigation of the incident. However, now, the report has been unveiled, it states that Arjuna Mahendran was involved in this and recommends that legal action be taken against him”

Deputy Minister  Harsha replied to the question, stating that legal action will be initiated now through the Attorney General. He also noted that COPE proceedings should be open to the media.

Journalist: “Minister, what is the Central Bank Governor’s status at present? Will he return to Sri Lanka shortly?”

DM Harsha: “I do not know that. I do not know that”.

When questioned on the accusation of Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva trying to acquit Arjuna Mahendran, he stated that he did not try to save anyone, even during the discussion in February and March 2015.

The media briefing looked like smooth sailing for the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs up until this moment. However, the situation changed a short while later, when a journalist posed the following question:

“I think that even you were sacrificed because of the talk about you working to acquit Arjuna Mahendran. Did you fall into this trap because of party discipline?”

Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva took a moment before replying “No, no. I will tell you. I am a person who lives in line with my conscience”.

Another journalist got in the conversation, which looked like more trouble for Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva; “This makes it clear that Arjuna Mahendran was in the wrong. You are saying that if a case is filed in the future, you will testify honestly.”

“You are astounding journalists! I think we are finished now aren’t we?” was the DM’s reply. However, the journalist was quick to point out that the Deputy Minister did not answer the question.

“Now, now, wait a bit. I have been saying this to you all this time”

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