Written by Lahiru Fernando
25 Jan, 2017 | 6:48 am
on Tuesday, January the Parliament debated the COPE report on Treasury Bond Scam. The proposal for the debate was presented by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake.
November 2016 – The Monetary Board presented a report on the loss incurred through the bond issue on the Employees Provident Fund. The report said EPF suffered a Rs. 14.9 Billion loss through purchasing of bonds in the secondary market. The funds have reportedly gone “straight to Perpetual Treasuries”.
“Within the 21 months that this was subject to discussion, the profit generated by Perpetual Treasuries exceeded Rs. 13,000 Million.” said the JVP leader.
Anura Kumara then turned to “Monetary Specialist” Dr. Sarath Amunugama. He questioned Dr. Amunugama if a company can generate a profit of over Rs. 13,000 Million within 16 months. He then said that one “cannot earn such an amount even by peddling drugs”.
Perpetual Treasuries has been at the centre of the bond controversy. Anura Kumara pointed out that PT should have been removed from the list of Primary Dealers.
Anura Kumara also charged that Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe “has become the main protector in the deal”.
He also questioned the possibilities of punishment in a government “controlled by the Prime Minister”. JVP leader Dissanayake then requested the Speaker, as Head of Parliament, to steer the process of punishing those accountable.
UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena shed more light on the matter. According to him;
> Banking Institutions are being purchased
> Insurance Institutions are being purchased
> Finance Institutions are being purchased
> Newspaper publication – Heads of Media Institutions enrolled
“The newspaper must be called ‘the Bond’ ” he added.
An almost immediate resistance was put up by the Minister of Public Enterprises Development. He questioned on the times when then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa was serving as the Minister of Finance and Ajith Nivard Cabraal was CBSL Governor.
Kabir Hashim pointed out how monetary fraud took place but nobody, not even the JVP spoke of it. The minister put it down to the JVP “not having enough courage back then”.
At this moment, MP Wimal Weerawansa decided to speak up. He charged the PM of “gearing up for the 2020 Presidential Polls with money looted by Arjun Aloysius”.
MP Weerawansa also added several to the list of purchasing’s given by MP Bandula Gunawardena – Siyatha TV and several websites.
Weerawansa then stated that these media institutions are being purchased “to create the image of the Prime Minister”
Wimal Weerawansa’s party was then crashed by Nalin Bandara.
Referring to Weerawansa constantly as “Thummulle Wimale”, he began to unfold how the MP gave 14 vehicles to family members, four vehicles to Ittapane Thero and misused 90 vehicles.
Government revealed that Perpetual Treasuries was involved in dealing during the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration.
Kabir Hashim: “The JVP spoke on the loss suffered to the Employees Provident Fund under the Pump and Dump Theory. Ask your conscience on the fraud committed to the EPF.”
According to Kabir Hashim, PT was used to purchase the following:
> 5.3 million shares of Ceylon Grain Elevators
> 57 million shares of Laugfs Gas
> 5.1 million shares of The Finance
> 23 million shares of Central Finance
> 1.2 million of Bairaha
These were “dumped on the EPF, causing billions of losses”, added Minister Hashim.
“If you have the courage, state that you will arrest Arjuna Mahendran and Arjun Aloysius”. – A direct challenge from MP Namal Rajapaksa to the Government and MPs who accuse the Joint Opposition.
He then turned to Ranajan Ramanayake, naming him the “MP of nabbing the rogues”, asked Ramanayake to “propose the arrest of Arjuna Mahendran”.
MP Ramanayake however, did not provide a direct answer. The Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment & Welfare deflected the request, asking “wasn’t Arjun Aloysius your best friend before the 08th of January?”
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