Bond scam tainted the fight against corruption – President

Bond scam tainted the fight against corruption – President

Written by Staff Writer

16 Dec, 2018 | 10:19 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Following the appointment of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, President Maithripala Sirisena addressed members of the UNP including the new premier.

The President noted that the people of the country who created a change on the 8th of January had many aspirations but that over the past 3.5 years they have not been able to live up to them. While noting that they have been able to do some good, the President noted that they must agree with the people on the point that the country is not where they wanted it to be at this point of time.

The appointment of the cabinet in January 2015, according to the President, was the start of violating campaign promises. The President noted that while a promise was made to ensure that all appointments were made in a scientific manner, the president expressed doubts as to whether the findings of the expert committee appointed to look into the matter were taken into consideration when decisions were made about the appointments.

According to the President, the only good outcome of the 19th amendment to the constitution was the establishment of independent commissions, he also attributed the political impasse that was created recently to the 19th amendment.

The Constitutional Council which made decisions on senior Government positions was created through the 19th amendment, however, the President expressed that he had concerns about the impartiality of the commission. He states that while he had submitted the names of many senior judges to the council, they had rejected many of them and had made appointments which were more suitable for them. The President stated that this, in turn, created a backlash against him from senior judges who believe that he was the individual responsible for not making decisions on promoting individuals based on seniority.

President Maithripala Sirisena also spoke on the Central Bank Bond Scam and noted that scam-tainted the actions of the Government and it’s fight against corruption of the previous regime. He noted that the forensic audit into the matter, which was a recommendation of the Presidential Commission appointed to probe the matter, has not been done as yet. He noted that economic experts had explained to him several weeks ago that the losses caused due to the bond scam is over Rs 1000bn. He explained that he strongly opposed the appointment of Arjuna Mahendran to the position of Central Bank Governor, but eventually gave in due to the strong recommendations of Ranil Wickremesinghe. The President noted that he did this to show his gratitude for helping him win the election and also because he did not want to create a rift between himself and Wickremesinghe.

When the actions of Mahendran came to light there was a wildfire of public opinion that spread across the country, the President explained adding that he remains at large. He also accused the former Governor of not having a proper plan to apprehend this individual.

The President also noted that a large number of issues were created due to the actions of the CCEM (Cabinet Committee on Economic Management) which created by Ranil Wickremesinghe. The President stated that all these things happened because he allowed the Prime Minister to obtain the powers of the President and act on them.

President Maithripala Sirisena noted that if the Executive and the Legislature were able to work on the recent political crisis, it wouldn’t have taken 7 weeks for the matter to come to a resolution.

While noting that the UNP campaigned in the courts to stop an election, the President claimed that a majority of people in the country including UNPers wanted to dissolve this corrupt Parliament and create a new Government. He stated that a majority of the people in the country still believe the country would be better off if an election is held.

FULL SPEECH :

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