Sunil Handunetti requests for an independent court to punish the accused in the Bond Scam

Sunil Handunetti requests for an independent court to punish the accused in the Bond Scam

Sunil Handunetti requests for an independent court to punish the accused in the Bond Scam

Written by Staff Writer

18 Feb, 2020 | 9:32 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Chairman of COPE Sunil Handunhetti requested today for the establishment of an independent court to punish the perpetrators of the Bond Scam. He made this request while commencing the debate on the forensic audit of the Bond Scam.

“A forensic audit is conducted primarily to be presented as evidence to the court. We know that there are forensic sciences even in the medical field. So this is a manner in which evidence is presented to the court. The authenticity of the evidence, the authenticity of the auditors who prepared the audit, their qualifications, all of these should actually be discussed in Court. Because this is a report to present facts to the court. The police must file this complaint. Do not divide this as the reign of Mahinda Rajapaksa from 2005 – 2015 and Ranil Wickremesinghe regime 2015 to 2016, that is not the divide that should be drawn here. From 2005 to 2015 the Central Bank and the Monetary Board purchased bonds under direct placement. It was the auction system that was implemented from 2015 to 2016. That is the basis on which the auditors who prepared the forensic audit had divided these two time periods. As per this report, It has been revealed that the government, the Central Bank and the Employees Provident Fund had suffered massive financial losses. Also the transactions had caused damages to the functionality of the local markets and caused an increase in the countries interest rates. Also, conflict of interest, unwarranted involvement of officers and other malpractices that should not exist in the management of state funds, had been seen through the issuance of these bonds. Therefore this honorable parliament proposes for a thorough debate be held on the forensic audit report that was submitted to parliament, and we propose to the Prime Minister in his capacity of Finance Minister to take steps to produce before court the people cited in this report responsible for these massive losses caused to the government, and for the law to be enforced against them, and also for the losses caused to the government to be recovered. The Central Bank bond scam was one of the most discussed topics. This forensic audit report is the next phase of this discussion. When we looked into the records of the parliament library, only 71 parliamentarians had taken these reports. This is not a simple theft like the ones that happen in villages. This is a theft conducted with the use of professional knowledge, their positions, and power. There are 5 reports on this scam. Therefore I make a request from you, Hon. Chairman as a government you made a promise to the general public to enforce the law against the perpetrators of the bond scam. On that promise you take the fourth report that was presented, that report includes all the details of the bond scam from the 1st of February 2015 to the 31st of March 2016. Commence legal proceedings for this. Prioritize the issue of the Central Bank bond scam that was orchestrated by the then governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran. This report includes all of the information you need to commence legal proceedings. Not a single piece of evidence presented by us had been rejected in this forensic audit report. They had taken details from the presidential commission report, they had considered evidence from the COPE, evidence was taken from the auditor general of the country, all of the CID reports were used, you now have all the evidence that you need. If someone is saying that you need to file a police complaint and come about this again, that is a pointless thing to do. Look at this report the minimum loss has been calculated as Rs. 1106 million. Kasun Palisena writes an e-mail to Arjuna Mahendran. Kasun Palisena is the CEO of the company owned by Mahendran’s son-in-law. An audit firm cannot write what they want and wash their hands off just like that. So if these audit firms have made any mistake, then they must report to the court on how they compiled this audit report. Four officials of the Employees Provident Fund had traded in the market. They had purchased shares of the EPF. There is nothing to cover up or hide here, bring this before an independent court. Hon. Chairman establish a court to probe this matter alone and telecast the legal proceedings into the bond scam live and show the entire country the proceedings of this case. On that day you will realize that all of these things that we said had saved billions of rupees belonging to the people of this country. There were attempts made by Kasun Palisena and Aloysius to buy our MPs for money, but the truth has emerged victorious, the truth has won and that is why this audit report has been presented. Before this parliament is dissolved this parliament must take a decision to send this matter to an independent court.”

Responding to this State Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage noted that they will raise both their hands in support of the investigations into this matter. He requested to punish the perpetrators of this crime. He added that legal action has been filed against Aloysius and Kasun Palisena.

He questioned; “Are they the only ones who should be brought before the law? Action must be filed against Ranil Wickremesinghe, cases must be filed against the ministers, were cases filed against the footnote clan? Today the footnote clan is not even in parliament. This audit was conducted to clean the hands of Ranil Wickremesinghe. Who was the person who called for the audit to be conducted?” 

MP Lakshman Kiriella: The COPE first proposed for a forensic audit to be conducted. Also, the presidential commission recommended that a forensic audit is needed. So no one can say that this was done because we wanted to do it. After 2015 we did not use the EPF. Not a single cent was lost. But the loss before 2015 is Rs. 9830 Billion. I must tell you that we can recover the losses caused during our time. We have frozen the account of Arjun Aloysius, it has Rs. 11 billion in it. I would like to ask you as to where you will recover the money lost before 2015.

State Min. Shehan Semasinghe: This was a highly organized and well-orchestrated scam. The Central bank that was under the purview of the Minister of Finance was suddenly gazetted under the Prime Minister, The Chairman of the UNP attends that meeting. That is when the first phase of the scam was implemented. Under the government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the people who were involved in this bond scam will definitely be brought before the law.

MP Patali Champika Ranawaka: What is the question being asked now? There was a loss, but there was no scam, What is the difference between a loss and a scam. When we consider the losses, that is what this audit report has shown. Over 4000 transactions were reviewed and pointed out 1000 of them. 20% of the transactions. The responsibility of this government during their time in power is to look into the people involved in these transactions and enforce the law against them.

Latest News