Fraud & Corruption: The Mahinda era and the Ranil era…

Fraud & Corruption: The Mahinda era and the Ranil era…

Written by Lahiru Fernando

31 Jan, 2018 | 10:36 pm

After News 1st made the first ever revelation about the Bond Scam, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed a committee of UNP Lawyers.

This was called the ‘Pitipana Committee’.

The ‘Pitipana Committee’ found that Former Governor Arjuna Mahendran had no direct role in deciding to accept bids over and above the one billion rupees stipulated in the 30-year bond.

As Public outcry grew, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) was appointed to investigate the matter. This committee was chaired by D.E.W. Gunasekera.

But before the COPE report was made public, Parliament was dissolved. Immediately after that, Sujeewa Senasinghe sought an interim injunction order from court preventing the publication, or circulation of the report. Senasinghe claimed the report was illegal.

However, the report made its way out into the public domain.

The public outcry continued, and COPE was appointed once again to investigate the matter. This time, it was Chaired by MP Sunil Handunnetti.

Afterwards, the former Chairman of COPE D.E.W Gunasekera made a shocking revelation about a cover-up.

Gunasekara said that he did not allow the President, or the PM to meddle with the business of COPE. He also claimed to have chased away ministers who wanted to talk about it.

He added that the report which was compiled, still remains. “however, it is not valid”, he said.

According to the former COPE Chairman, the report can still be used given that it has 449 pages with 40 different pieces of evidence.

“They prevented that from being tabled in Parliament. But now they are attempting to prevent it from being distributed even after it has been added on the order paper. The Prime minister has politicized things for 20 years.” he added.

The 2nd COPE investigation

During the proceedings of COPE chaired by MP Sunil Handunnetti, MP M.Welukumara resigned from COPE. Replacing him was Sujeewa Senasinghe.

Senasinghe and others in the UNP added ‘Footnotes’ to the COPE Report. These members agreed to the report with ‘footnotes’ while the others agreed to the report without the footnotes.

Nevertheless, COPE found Arjuna Mahendran responsible for the Bond Scam.

It was thereafter, the President himself took the decision to appoint a Presidential Commission of Inquiry.

But, let’s not forget the crimes of the past…

01. The MiG deal Mysterious third party companies disappeared from the face of the earth.

There is also popular belief that the murder of veteran journalist Lasantha Wickremetunge occurred because of this very deal.

02. SriLankan Airlines – Cronies and relatives took over management of Sri Lanka’s pride and joy. We dont need to remind you of the current state of our national carrier.

03. The issue surrounding the distribution of Sil Cloth during the run up to the 2015 Elections – the Former Secretary to the President was jailed.

04. A Former Government Strongman is charged with misappropriating public money to print Lith.

05. Another Former Minister was accused of having two passports.

And then, there is ‘Helping Hambantota…

The Loss? – a staggering Rs. 84 Million.

After the 2004 tsunami wreaked havoc plenty of money flowed into the country & Helping Hambantota was identified by those in the government today as a scam which siphoned off some of these funds.

Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva, in an unprecedented move, apologized for his verdict in the “helping Hambantota” case which paved the way for Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest for presidential election in 2005.

If a proper verdict was delivered back then, Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have been elected President and we would not have to face such a magnitude of corruption.

The People are calling on the decision makers, to not play games and give proper hard and strong verdicts.

According to the People, if this is not the case, we will have to face many problems in the months to come….

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