‘Yahapalana’ stench
Posted on October 26th, 2016

Editorial Courtesy The Island

An internal investigation conducted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) into Treasury bond scams has shed light on unusually huge profits made by one of the primary dealers, Perpetual Treasuries, belonging to the son-in-law of former CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran. A damning report put out by the Auditor General’s Department on the issue has held Mahendran accountable for the irregular bond transactions. Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Chairman’s report has also established this fact. But, some self-important UNP MPs are all out to take Mahendran off the hook at the behest of their political bosses. Those who projected themselves as paragons of virtue before the last general election and duped the public into voting for them have laid bare their true faces!

The UNP group of the COPE, after the exit of the committee chairman, Sunil Handunnetti, in a huff on Monday, announced that Perpetual Treasuries would be probed and asked to explain how it had made huge profits as a primary dealer. The question is whether it is in keeping with best parliamentary practices or the Standing Orders for a group of MPs, representing one political party, to make such ex cathedra statements after smoking out the COPE chairman. One may recall that the UNP refused—and rightly so—to accept controversial decisions the UPFA members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), which ‘tried’ the then Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, made without any Opposition MPs present. It is now doing what it used to condemn while it was in the Opposition!

Regrettably, a section of the media shamelessly sided with the government propagandists and made a futile bid to mislead the public into believing that the COPE Chairman’s damning report did not exist. It prepared the stage for Monday’s COPE drama.

One is being naïve if one thinks a cornered UNP has undertaken to conduct an investigation with a view to punishing the culprits. If Perpetual Treasuries is to be probed it is sure to deny having received any inside information from Mahendran as regards the bond auctions at issue so that the UNP can claim there has been no wrongdoing on the part of the former Central Bank Governor. According to a popular saying in this country it is futile to solicit the assistance of a crystal gazer to catch a thief who happens to be her son. It is equally pointless to try to nab a culprit by investigating his son-in-law! If the decision of the ‘hijacked’ COPE is implemented an escape route will be opened for those responsible for the bond scams.

President Maithripala Sirisena is left with two alternatives. He must either have the bond scams which, according to experts, have cost the public purse more than ten billion rupees, probed by a special presidential commission with the media given access to its proceedings or publicly renounce his much-advertised commitment to good governance. People reposed their trust in him and elected him President last year. He is responsible for the formation of the present government. He must live up to people’s expectations. Whoever would have thought that wealthy men in three-piece suits would rob the bank of the banks with impunity on his watch?

Meanwhile, parliamentarians have no right to ride rough shod over public officials or anyone else, for that matter, summoned before parliamentary committees. Let Speaker Karu Jayasuriya be urged to probe the allegations that the Auditor General and Central Bank officials were verbally abused by some COPE members.

Time was when the COPE commanded the respect of the public though parliamentary standards were falling. The watchdog committee conducted thorough probes; it, to its credit, exposed numerous irregularities and malpractices in the public sector institutions and, above all, illegal transactions such as the sale of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and the Lanka Marine Service bunkering facility by the UNP-led UNF government (2001-2004).

Sadly, the misconduct of some MPs has caused a severe erosion of public faith in the COPE, which is being manipulated to cover up mega scams and defend rogues! If this is the brand of good governance the present administration promised, the country will certainly be a much better place without it!

7 Responses to “‘Yahapalana’ stench”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    UNP has a stake in it. Part of the fraud went on to finance UNP’s 2015 August election campaign. For this reason, UNP will not allow any investigation.

    As I have written, President Sirisena (as president Kumaratunga did in 2003) must take over the finance ministry (and defence too). Ultimately he will be held responsible for this fraud which happened under his watch. 10 billion rupees ($67 million) a year is a huge fraud – much larger than the alleged MiG deal ($18 million) and all others investigated by the FCID. Ridiculously, these crooks contested the election under United National Party For Good Governance! What a stench!

  2. dhane Says:

    After controversial speech Sira about Bribery Commission, Police etc, now is silence. When Sira told openly early 2015 in TV he has asked PM to remove the Governor Arjuna Mahendran, Ranil never bothered but continued to rob. Part of the money would have gone to balance UNP’s 2015 August election campaign. Sira must be getting ready for another speech
    with next opening ceremony. We will wait and see the next episode of Sira & Ranil Tele drama.

  3. aravinda Says:

    Best is yet to come. Sri Lanka’s interest rates peaked in 2008 at 10.5%. It has fallen to around 7% now, and expected to fall to 6% by 2018 and fall further till 2020. This incredible Mahendran/Ranil Bond issue could very well bankrupt Sri Lanka. Next election cycle is 2020-21. By that time, Mahendran and clan could do the vanishing trick.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

    The Bond Scam money went to finance the UNP’s 2015 election campaign, and all the other payoffs that have taken place since, and to create a slush fund abroad as an ESCAPE VALVE when the Yamapalanaya goes BELLY UP …. SHORTLY!

    Some were paid off from that slush fund, while other were paid off with plum political jobs, while others were paid off with luxury vehicles even as they claim that the government is bankrupt, and we need to TIGHTEN our amudes!

    The AMAZING thing is, there was NO FINANCIAL CRISIS while the MR/UPFA GoSL was in power, and then within 18 short months of the regime change, the nation is declaring BANKRUPTY, while allowing various scammers to raid the Central Bank of $1.5 BILLION USD!

    Even the new President, Aiyooo Sirisena, is asking people to plant a billion Gliricidia trees to burn for energy, when the economy grinds to a halt next year, and the power plants shut off the electricity!

    The Yamapalanaya BLAMES EVERYTHING on MR/UPFA creating a massive debt burden, but that debt was under control, being serviced and retired in a stable controlled way like a Home Mortgage, while the nation benefited from new national infrastructure developed according to a long range plan for national development.

    The best reason to borrow money, BAR NONE, is for LONG-TERM CAPITAL INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING as the MR/UPFA GoSL did, and not for SHORT-TERM CONSUMPTION SPENDING as the Yahapalanaya government is doing.

    Even after the Yamapalana govt realized they had screwed things up, why did’nt they STOP making things worse by KICKING OUT the Chinese and HALTING the INFRASTRUCTURE projects initiated by the previous government?

    The REASON WHY, we SPECULATE is that the Yamapalanaya is RUN BY A BUNCH of CLUELESS PIN-HEAD IDIOTS who don’t know that when you have DUG YOURSELF into a HOLE, the FIRST thing you should do is STOP THE BLOODY DIGGING!

    Did we stop the DIGGING? No, they DID NOT! How is the Megalopolis Development Plan coming, Champika … found the money for it yet?

    No, no, they have MORE IMPORTANT things to do, like buying FLEETS of luxury SUV’s for their favorite politicians, who promptly turn around and sell the tax-free import permits to other well heeled party supporters!

    KAALA, BEELA, JOLI KARAPALLA … until the roof caves in!

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    Aravinda,

    Can you please CLARIFY what interest rates you are referring to?

    Who is earning and who is paying those interest rates, the GOSL or private individuals?

  6. S.Gonsal Says:

    What a fool this bugger is ? This bugger want to donate our valuable human resources to other countries.

    ‘අපි ජාතියක් ලෙස කනගාටුවෙන්න ඕනෑ. අපි ලෝකයේ දැනුම වෙළෙඳපොළ ජයගන්න ඕනෑ. දැනුම බුද්ධිය වර්ධනය වූ පිරිසක් ජාත්‍යන්තර වෙළෙඳපොළට අපි යැවිය යුතුයි. ඒ තමයි රටක ගෞරවය වෙන්නේ. අපේ රටේ ඉංජිනේරුවරුන්, වෛද්‍යවරුන්, විද්‍යාඥයින් ආදී විවිධ ක්ෂේත‍්‍ර වල ප‍්‍රවීණයින් දක්ෂයින් ලෝකයේ වෙනත් රටවල රැකියාවන් කර මෙරටට මුදල් එවනවා නම් ඒක අපිට ගෞරවයක්‘ යැයි ජනපති මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන මහතා අද (26) හෝමාගම – පිටිපන ජාතික ව්‍යාපාර කළමනාකාරීත්ව විද්‍යායතනයේ පීඨ තුනකින් සමන්විත හරිත සරසවිය විවෘත කිරීමේ අවස්ථාවට එක්වෙමින් පැවසීය.

  7. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Puppet marua (hora)sira is helpless. He is a mere puppet in front of traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist
    Batalande wadakaya pol pot ponil wickramaSinhhalakiller. One look from the WADAKAYA is enough for maru
    (hora)sira to wet his sarong. So traitor chief catholic buddy maha horandran and wadakaya is totally safe. Wadakaya
    can intimidate anybody or eliminate. No problem. Or buy them out. So WADAKAYA take any notice of these noises.
    This is maru (hora)sira sarong-wetting YAMA PALANAYA. Shame on you puppet maru (hora)sira. You man or
    mouse?

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