Written by Devuni Goonewardene
05 Sep, 2018 | 11:16 pm
Colombo (News 1st) – The Draft of the 20th Amendment to the constitution which contains the abolition of the executive powers of the president was presented to Parliament by the JVP today (September 05).
During the parliamentary session today Chief Opposition Whip, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake also spoke about the law not being enacted against those involved in the bond scam. He questioned whether the special high court would be taking up the case pertaining to the bond scam?
Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe responded by stating that this is a decision that the Chief Justice would take based on details provided by the Bribery Commission. The premier stated that they do not interfere with the judiciary and that they have done what had to be done as the government and as the Parliament.
What followed was a heated exchange of words between the Prime Minister and the JVP leader.
MP Anura Kumara – We have been patient for a long period of time. Three and a half years have lapsed. The role of the former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran was important. Now they have sacrificed Perpetual Treasuries and have gone into hiding. Are you ready to provide instructions to the Attorney General to take this before the special high court? Are you ready to inform facts to the chief justice?
PM Ranil Wickramasinghe – Investigations are being carried out by the Attorney General’s department. This can be taken forward after the commission concludes. The Central Bank has frozen 11 billion rupees of PTL. I think that is more than the loss.
MP Anura Kumara – The loss is not covered just because you freeze the money. The Governor of the Central Bank was a close Friend to you all. He was appointed with your personal recommendation. You stood on his behalf in Parliament. There were reports that you met him in Singapore. I would like to ask you whether you don’t have a personal responsibility to bring him back into the country.
PM Ranil Wickramasinghe – The crime is not cancelled just because we earn back the money. The crime happened on a different occasion. The law is being enacted against Arjuna Mahendran. If he is overseas, action has been taken. The lawyers appearing for him have also asked for details. I saw it in the newspaper but I did not read it. I did not have any connection with him after he left the country. My lawyers had instructed me not do so.
General Secretary of the United National Freedom Front, Attorney-at-law Maithri Gunaratne states that it has been 7 months since the Bond Commission report was presented adding that no one is aware of the next steps the Attorney General hopes to take.
Gunaratne recalled how the Attorney General questioned Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Malik Samarawickreme when they were summoned before the Presidential commission and questioned wether the AG is hoping to become the Chief Justice through such actions.
“We’d like to remind the Attorney General that he is Attorney General of the people and not of the Prime Minister. You are not the Attorney General of the United National Party. Your responsibility is to represent the people” – Maithri Gunaratne.
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