Let bond racketeers be dealt with in the same way as Lalith – Senior retired banker
Posted on November 23rd, 2017

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Senior retired banker Rusiripala Tennakoon has suggested that those involved in the treasury bond scams be dealt with in the same way former presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga, was found guilty of causing Rs 600 mn loss to the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC).

Tennakoon said so in response to Faraz Shauketally on news line, the day after Prime Minister appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Nov 20.

Pointing out that Premier Wickremesinghe had denied taking policy decision to instruct the state-owned banks to bid low interest rates at the treasury bond auctions, Tennakoon stressed the need to take punitive action against those who carried out the treasury bond scams.

Asked whether the Joint Opposition (JO) accepted that the treasury bond scam case, too, could be dealt with on the lines sil redi case involving Weeratunga, who had been TRC Chairman, as well as its Director General Anusha Palpita, JO economic affairs spokesman MP Bandula Gunawardena asserted that the cases couldn’t be compared.

MP Gunawardena said that Weeratunga couldn’t be faulted for carrying out a presidential directive. The JO member said so when The Island raised the issue at Tuesday’s media briefing at Punchi Borella.

Gunawardena stressed that there couldn’t be any issue if the President, who enjoyed immunity issued such a directive. The MP was flanked by former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris.

On the instructions of wartime president Ranasinghe Premadasa, then Secretary to the Treasury R. Paskaralingam had provided funds to the LTTE during 1989 -1990 period.

The JO didn’t respond to The Island assertion that a wrong decision couldn’t be acceptable depending on the person issuing instructions.

Prof. Peiris said that President Maithripala Sirisena couldn’t absolve himself of the responsibility for the treasury bond scam on the basis he wasn’t the leader of the UNP. Prof. Peiris said as head of the government, President Sirisena should deal with those responsible for irreparable losses that had been caused to the national economy.

The former minister also urged President Sirisena to reveal his stand on clandestine nexus between some COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) members and Perpetual Treasuries Arjuna Aloysius.

A smiling Prof. Peiris asked whether bond scams that had been perpetrated twice in Feb 2015 and March 2016 were compatible with much touted yahapalana policies endorsed by some foreign powers.

Instead of dealing with bond racketeers, firmly, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government was not contemplating taking wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa into custody on some false charge. The former minister alleged that those under heavy flak over bond scams could resort to despicable tactics to divert the attention of the irate public elsewhere.

Prof. Peiris said the incumbent administration was in an unprecedented turmoil with members pulling in different directions.

The former law Professor said that there had never been a government here or in any part of the world that robbed its own Central Bank.

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