Written by Tharushan Fernando
25 Jan, 2017 | 8:41 pm
President Maithripala Sirisena says that the parliament decision on the CBSL treasury bond issue would be directed to the Attorney General in the coming days
Making a statement at an event held to unveil the Avukana Buddha Statue at the Abhayarama Historic Temple in Narahenpita, on the Parliamentary Debate on the Treasury Bond Scam, he charged that both sides were blaming each other.
He added that the commission was appointed after obtaining advice from the top-most legal intellectuals in the country and an external investigation without a commission would drag on for several years.
He pointed out that after the COPE report is taken up in Parliament, it is a practice to direct it to the Attorney General.
“This afternoon the speaker contacted me and informed me that the decision of parliament will be directed to the Attorney General in the coming days …” he said
The president also commented on several decisions made in the recent days pledging that he is not prepared to engage in governance according to the needs of others and other countries
The president also said that he cast aside statements made on homosexuality and legalizing prostitution, when they were presented in cabinet
“Statements were made on homosexuality. It was presented to the Cabinet and it was I who cast it aside. Another Cabinet paper to legalise prostitution was also presented and it was I who cast it aside. I made those decisions”, he said
The president also said that it was he who took out Arjuna Mahendran and appointed Dr. Coomaraswamy, as well as the the Auditor General, who has come under criticism of a certain group of persons.
“The whole country accepts that the Auditor General is a talented and honest officer. The whole country accepts that Govenor of the Central Bank Dr. Coomaraswamy is a talented person. It was I who made those appointments. Therefore, I am executing my tasks properly. If there are shortcomings , I am prepared to correct them”, said the President
He further said that if anyone commits wrong , be it from the Government or the Opposition they will not be protected.
The Speaker of Parliament elaborated on the next steps that will be taken with regard to the COPE Report on the Central Bank bond scam. The Speaker explained that if a decision on the matter was reached upon by the members of the parliament, then the report can be presented to the Attorney General.
Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella charged that during the past 10, 15 or 20 years, COPE reports were tabled in Parliament but not a single report was presented to the Attorney General, while JVP Parliamentarian,Bimal Ratnayake called for steps to be taken on how follow up action could be initiated by the Parliament after the COPE report is presented to the Attorney general.
UPFA Parliamentarian,Vasudeva Nanayakkara called for a sufficient time-frame to be granted for the Attorney General to analyse and report back to the speaker
“This also involves the Police Department. I believe that you should present this to the Attorney General as well as the Inspector General of Police. However, that is your prerogative”, he said.
Although it was stated that Arjuna Mahendran does not hold any Government Position, the Anti-Corruption Front challenged it once again today.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance mentioning certain dates, the Anti-Corruption Front has sought clarification with regard to Arjuna Mahendran’s participation at those meetings.
Based on what was said by Minister Malik Samarawickreme using Parliamentary privileges yesterday ,Arjuna Mahendran has not held any positions. However at the meeting presided over by R.Paskaralingam and Minister Ravi Karunanayake on the 11th of July 2016 the attendees list reads the name of Arjuna Mahendran right above the monetary board, according to Keerthi Tennakoon, Consultant to the Anti-corruption Front
“His name is the 06th on the list.” he said
Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Front,Venerable Ulapane Sumangala Thero charged that the Father-in-Law and the Son-in-Law have looted over 6000 Million in Public Funds and the Ministers and MPs who enjoy those perks must keep in mind that it was public funds that were looted.
“We made this statement to every politician working to protect Arjun Aloysius and Arjuna Mahendran. They are traitors committing acts of treachery. As the Anti-Corruption Front we make this statement without any fear …” he said
Yesterday News1st carried a report questioning whether former governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran was holding a government position.
Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Nimal Bopage says an investigation will be launched with regard to a statement made by the Director General of the Government Information Department challenging the news report.He added that the he was not made aware of the issuing of such a statement.
The Independent Television Network aired a news report last night based on the statement issued by the Director General of the Government Information Department with regard to the report aired by News 1st.
This is incidentally not the first occassion in which the Independent Television Network had reported on News 1st, on its news reports.
During the previous government there were many instances where the Independent Television Network carried false and malicious reports on News 1st.During the run up to the Presidential Elections, the Independent Television Network aired false reports on a daily basis targetting incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena.Most of the news report aired by the Independent Television Network at that time caused defamation to incument President Maithripala Sirisena on a personal manner.
Starting yesterday, the Independent Television Network had once again resorted to its practices of News 1st.The Ministry of Mass Media has responded to the news report aired by the Independent Television Network.
The Ministry of the Secretary says that views expressed in the statement are the personal views of the said individual.
Statements as such must be issued with knowledge of the Secretary to the Ministry and decisions can only be made after the Secretary to the Ministry has taken a decision. However, he was not made aware of this matter according the Secretary.
“This can be termed as the personal view of the said official and not the official view of the Ministry of Mass Media”, he said.
He noted that issues arose after statements were made in such a manner on previous occassions as wel and they were later withdrawn.
“Therefore, I believe that I have a special duty to investigate this said statement. If this statement has caused you any distress, I am saddended about it. As the Secretary to the Minister of Mass Media , I have a greater responsibility with regard to media institutions. If baseless statements are being issued. I promise to look in to this in the future”, he said
On previous occassion journalists and media Institutions have questioned the Secretary on the statements issued under the name of the Director General of the Government Information Department and not the ministry secretary.
Incidentally, the date mentioned in the comminique issued by the Director General of the Government Information Department was incorrect.
Speaking on our programme Newsline this morning, Senior Lawyer Gomin Dayasri criticised government officials who issue such releases by mentioning parliamentary privileges.
“I think it is very wrong, and it is maybe even an offence, for a third party, a government official to be using parliamentary privilege as a cover to make accusations that maybe possibly directed at another person on parliamentary privilege – and that could give rise to a parliamentary privilege issue in itself”, charged Gomin Dayasri.
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