Bond scams: JO cranks up pressure on President, PM
Posted on January 22nd, 2018

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy  The Island

Chairman of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday demaded that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe step down temporarily to ensure a free and fair judicial investigation into treasury bond scams involving the Central Bank and Perpetual Treasuries Private Limited.

Former External Affairs Minister Prof. Peiris stressed that no other ‘crime’ could be compared with that of the treasury bond scams allegedly perpetrated by the UNP in Feb 2015 and March 2016. Prof. Peiris alleged that both Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena were responsible for the second far bigger fraud committed in March 2016.

SLPP Chairman who is also a leading spokesperson for the Joint Opposition said so when The Island asked him whether their demand was fair when the previous Rajapaksa administration ignored calls for the then Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne’s resignation over his Office intervening in Aug 2013 on behalf of a major heroin dealer.

Prof. Peiris was flanked by attorney-at-law Sagara Kariyawasam and former Western Provincial Council member Renuka Perera at a media briefing at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Nelmum Mawatha office.

The role played by the PM’s Office came to light after the Customs detected over 250 kgs of heroin brought in a container from Pakistan.

When The Island pointed out that had proper action taken in respect of the then Prime Minister, it would have certainly helped the JO/SLPP campaign against Wickremesinghe, Prof. Peiris acknowledged that there had been failures and the previous administration defeated at national level polls. But having campaigned on a platform of good governance and accountability, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition had plundered the Central Bank, Prof. Peiris said.

The JO contests Feb 10 local government polls on SLPP ticket.

The SLPP refrained from responding to The Island allegation that the previous government, too, should take the responsibility for national economic crisis by blocking the National Audit Bill for over a decade. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is yet to present it in parliament though it was to have been passed at the onset of President Sirisena’s 100-day government programme.

Asked whether extremely bad press about treasury bond scams as well as handing over of the Hambantota port on a 99-year lease to China, Kataragama shooting incident and Uva Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake forcing school principal to kneel before him had helped the JO/SLPP LG polls campaign, Prof. Peiris said they didn’t depend on them to win forthcoming polls. The former reputed law professor said the yahapalana leaders had done absolutely nothing since January 2015 change of government. There was nothing but rhetoric, he said. There had never been a government like the present one, Prof. Peiris said, calling Maithripala Sirisena a lame duck President, pathetically struggling to cope up with his ‘arrangement’ with the UNP.

Referring to President Sirisena’s recent speech at Kegalle, Prof. Peiris pointed out that the SLFP leader hadn’t mince his words when he admitted that the UNP had ruined the national economy during the past three years therefore he was compelled to intervene.

Alleging that Wickremesinghe and the UNP had been engaged in desperate propaganda project to save the party from treasury bond scam fallout, Prof. Peiris challenged the UNP leader Wickremesinghe to reveal how he intended to deal with former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake named by the presidential commission of inquiry.

Prof. Peiris challenged UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim’s claim that the bond commission report in no way had found fault with Wickremesinghe and the Premier cleared.

The former Rhodes scholar said the UNP feared to take disciplinary action against Karunanayake as he could cause irreparable damage. It would be interesting to know whether Karunanayake, currently assistant leader of the party would receive UNP nomination at the next parliamentary polls, he said.

Prof. Peiris said that Wickremesinghe would have to consult the decision making UNP Working Committee regarding Karunanayake.

Wickremesinghe certainly owed an explanation to the country as regards contradictory statements issued in respect of the first bond scam. Having cleared Arjuna Mahendran and the PTL on March 17, 2017, Premier last week acknowledged that PLT funds amounting to Rs 12 bn had been frozen and the government was now in a position to recover losses estimated at over 9 bn.

The SLPP Chief said those who had been let down by yahapalana partners could use Feb 10 LG polls to deliver a heavy blow. Yahapalana government, in fact, had turned the poll to a referendum on the three year administration, Prof. Peiris said, declaring Mahinda Rajapaksa as the leader of the lotus bud front.

Prof. Peiris declared that they lacked faith in Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya. Commenting on the circumstances, one-time acting AG Suhada Gamlath had been sidelined, Prof. Peiris accused the AG of acting against the interests of the people.

5 Responses to “Bond scams: JO cranks up pressure on President, PM”

  1. dhane Says:

    SLFP, UNP, JO, JVP all these political parties are accusing each other in every election meeting country wide. Voters are fully fed-up listening & reading in media these allegations before election campaign started up to date But no party ever have come out or speak about their proposal for the betterment or improvement of the local government & voters in respective council. Thereby on 10th Feb: voters will just cast to any fool who had fooled the masses mostly.

  2. NAK Says:

    According to Mr. Kalyananda Thiranagama there had bee three bond scams The first in Feb.2015 second in march 2015 and the third in march 2016. The money retained by the government are probably the earnings from the last bond issue.

  3. NAK Says:

    Now is the time for JO to up the ante and make a loud and clear claim that they will see to that every one, from top to bottom,who are involved in the bond scam will be made to count the bars jail.

  4. Charles Says:

    Shamindra Ferdinando is a good journalist, but how can media help Sri Lanka break away from its past and find a way out from the perilous political situation Sri Lanka is faced with ever since Ranil-Sirisena took over the reins of Government, if a political party that had developed the country despite some failure in the past are constantly criticed . The result would be people will have no good alternative to fall back on to find a new path of hope.

    The media keeps on asking why the previous government did various wrong things in the past, yes they have done and they are aware of them and they can make a new start if they are given a chance. They are the only ones that could do it, as they have experience doing good things in the past which the media fails to point out…..the past is past …the the politicians of the previous government has to learn from its past failures and go forward and do some thing constrructive to recover Sri Lanka from falling further into a deeper precipice under rhe asubha paalanaya of Sirisena and Ranil.

  5. Dilrook Says:

    I very much doubt it.

    The JO promised to bring a no confidence motion against Ranil over this more than 3 weeks ago. As I correctly predicted, it has not happened. It will not happen (unless Sirisena planned to actually remove Ranil). Can anyone tell me what happened to it?

    This is similar to the gimmick of the same crowd on May 18, 2015 when they handed over a no confidence motion to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa against Ravi. This was handed over at the Speaker’s residence! Nothing happened (as expected) for over a month and on June 25, 2015 the parliament was dissolved.

    FCID is under the UNP. JO is very careful not to offend the UNP (apart from petty verbal attacks) lest the UNP will turn FCID reports to court briefs. UNP is the master of all parties including JO, SLFP, TNA, JVP, SLMC and ACMC. The only way this can change is if the JO has a new real leader (not a nominal leader) outside the former ruling clan. As long as Rajapaksas are the decision makers of the SLPP/JO, UNP will have a stranglehold on it.

    USA, India, LTTE Rump and their local agents have cracked the code of how to dictate terms to Sri Lanka. Blackmail key ruling clans and they will toe the line.

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