Bond Scam Saga: The scripting of a drama directed by Ranil Wickremesinghe?

Bond Scam Saga: The scripting of a drama directed by Ranil Wickremesinghe?

Bond Scam Saga: The scripting of a drama directed by Ranil Wickremesinghe?

Written by Lahiru Fernando

23 Jan, 2017 | 8:00 pm

A Presidential Commission has been appointed to probe allegations surrounding the controversial Central Bank Bond Scam. The Attorney General has been instructed as such by the Head of State.

“President is seeking the cooperation of all sectors, to ensure the success of the commission’s task.” – Statement by President’s Media Division.

President Sirisena will be appointing a three-member commission which will include:

> A Supreme Court Justice

> A High Court judge

> An audit expert

The relevant gazette notification is to be issued this week while the Commission will be given a three month mandate to submit a report including their recommendations.

Reactions

The Chairman of the Anti Corruption Front has said the funds and assets accumulated improperly must be seized by the state. Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera also added that accounts of Perpetual Treasuries must be frozen until a decision is made.

The thera explained the account freeze, stating that it is to prevent PT from investing the money amassed through the scam.

Wasantha Samarasinghe has called for the use of the President’s executive powers and immediate intervention. The Voice Against Corruption convener said the President has to intervene immediately to stop attempts to influence the judicial processes.

The Employee’s Provident Fund

Another allegation is that the EPF suffered a heavy loss in the wake of the bond scam.

An announcement from the CBSL say that internal investigations are underway into EPF investments in the bond market between 2015 and 2016.

CBSL has requested law enforcement authorities to conduct independent external investigations. The request comes as the activities of CBSL employees will also be under investigation in terms of the issuing of bonds in the time frame.

The Central Bank Adviser

Interestingly, the person around who the CBSL bond scam revolves around continues to serve as a Central Bank Adviser for the Ministry of Finance.

Former CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran has also attended meetings convened by the Finance Minister. To top that, Mahendran had given advise on decisions to be made by the Monetary Board.

But that too has been brought to the attention of President Sirisena. The Anti Corruption Front has addressed a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena highlighting the fact.

The Parliament debate – Attempts to foil it?

Parliament is scheduled to convene at 9.30 on the morning of Tuesday January 24. The COPE report on the bond transactions is to be debated during the session.

With the debate set and ready, Director of Lanka Hospitals Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha Thero has filed a Fundamental Rights Petition at the Supreme Court. The thero had challenged the COPE report.

A report published by the Dinamina newspaper quote the petition as saying: “certain facts in the report causes confusion among its readers and is also misleading.

JVP leader Anura Kumara has claimed the ‘petition’ is nothing but an attempt to protect the transaction.

The reason? MP Anura Kumara explained…

“Tomorrow Kiriella will get up and tell the Speaker -as there is a pending a court case at the Supreme Court, the matter cannot be taken up for debate in Parliament as per a certain clause in the Standing Orders.”

1. Venerable Thiniyawala files a case
2. Lakshman Kiriella speaks in parliament
3. Speaker issues the decision

“This Supreme Court case is the first step in the scripting of a drama directed by Ranil Wickremesinghe.”

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