Written by Nathasha De Alwis
05 Jan, 2018 | 10:20 pm
The process which is to be adopted to expedite the implementation of the recommendations of the Bond Commission was discussed at a meeting held today, January 05.
The meeting was held at Temple Trees and was chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
PM Wickremesinghe, making a statement, said that he had instructed Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy to call for a meeting with the Monetary Board as soon as the Bond Commission’s report is made public, and initiate action on the recommendations.
According to the Central Bank Governor, the bank is in the process of selecting a suitable local or foreign agent to conduct a Forensic Audit, as recommended by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry.
The Presidential Commission recommended that there should be an investigation into the irregularities that had taken place between 2008 and 2015. A discussion took place to ascertain if Central Bank records for that period were safe.
The statement goes on to say a committee comprising of Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Treasury Secretary Dr. RHS Samaratunga and Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Order Padmasiri Jayamanne have been vested with the task of taking the necessary action.
On March 17, 2015 PM Wickremesinghe made a statement. He stated that there is nothing to claim that the Governor of the Central Bank was involved in the treachery.
Furthermore, he stated that he had given the instructions in the presence of two other deputy governors, and that the allegation that the Governor intervened in the tender process, is a baseless one.
PM Wickremesinghe said that on February 27 he appointed a three-member committee to inquire into the 30 year bond issue.
He further raised a question from the public “How else am I to look at this?”. “This cannot be referred to the Monetary Board. I need to be satisfied with this first,” said PM Wickremesinghe.
A question was raised on that being a SLFP member, whether he is prepared to function in cabinet with a Prime Minister “of this nature?”
Min. Faiszer Mustapha replied stating that the President commented on the report and its background. Therefore, as it appears, there is no allegation against the Prime Minister.
If an appointment is made, the person who makes the appointment will be bound to the responsibility. Therefore, it raises the question “why isn’t the Prime Minister bound to that same responsibility?”
“It is true an appointment was made. It’s about the Prime Minister and the process. Take a look at the Cricket Team. A captain is appointed right? So when a match is lost, appointments are made at random,” said Minister Mustapha.
“… We are in a consensual government …” – Min. Faizser Mustapha
Today, January 5, similar questions, were posed to SLFP representative, Minister Susil Premajayantha.
Minister the Joint Opposition calls for the immediate resignation of the Prime Minister. What is the stance of the SLFP?
“Pose that question to the Party Secretary when he convenes a media briefing” says Min. Susil Premajayantha.
He was further questioned whether he was afraid?
He replied that there is nothing for him to fear. His personal view is that, this has been overly discussed in the social platform. In other countries , things happen differently. Therefore such a thing has never happened in the history of this country, and they cannot be certain if it will be the same in the future, he said.
Minister Faiszer Musthapha, please take a single stand on behalf of the people of this country.
Further, several leaders expressed their views on this regard.
“The Central Bank was under the purview of the prime minister. When the prime minister recommended that Arjuna Mahendran be appointed Central Bank Governor, the president opposed it. This has been mentioned on a number of occasions,” stated Keerthi Tennakoon (Executive Director of CaFFE)
Further, he said that President Sirisena has reiterated that the appointment was made based on the request of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe.
And that the people have a right to know about what Ranil Wickremesinghe has to say regarding the bond commission’s recommendations. The members of the UNP have a duty to ask the Prime Minister about it.
Former Chairman of COPE, D.E.W. Gunasekara convened a media briefing today, January 5, where he made a remark on an oath taken by Arjuna Mahendran.
“….If the Commission was given some judicial authority from the constitution then Ravi Karunanayake and others would have been imprisoned already. Take a look at the newspapers after the Parliament was dissolved and read the speeches delivered by Ravi Karunanayake, Sujeewa Senasinghe,Ranil Wickremesinghe. They said the problem was related to the procedure of the Issuance of Bonds”, said D.E.W. Gunasekara
“All these were done to protect Arjuna Mahendran” – D.E.W. Gunasekara
Furthermore, he stated that, Arjuna Mahendran has stated that before him swearing on the Bible, as he was the only public sector official in our country to not have taken an oath that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed him to follow that procedure and he has acted accordingly.
UPFA Parliamentarian, Dinesh Gunawardena stated regarding the bond issue earlier today (Jan 5), ” The biggest fraud was revealed. We lodged a complaint with the Bribery Commission. Our MPs raided the Central Bank. Following a conflict, two of our MPs were hospitalised. The police intervened. We went to the President’s door step and requested not to re-appoint Arjuna Mahendran.”
Leader of National Unity Front, Azath Sally replied to this comment as, “This is another joke for this year. He says that they worked very hard to reveal this, they say two MPs were injured in their struggle.”
Further, he stated that when media revealed this, he was with President Sirisena in England. According to him, at the time, President had called his secretary and said that he will be appointing a committee immediately.
Before announcing the decision, the Prime Minister has stepped in and had appointed a committee of three members to find solutions.
“If the rogues of Pohottuwa look at themselves in the mirror, they will see they are labelled as thieves. How can they deceive the public?” – Azath Sally (Leader of National Unity Front)
Further, addressing a public rally in Kiribathgoda yesterday, January 4, leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake commented on the losses incurred due to the bond scam.
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