Await Bond Farce II
Posted on January 31st, 2018

Editorial Courtesy The Island

The Tilak Marapana committee, appointed by the UNP to study the presidential bond probe commission report, has claimed there are no findings against UNP members including former Minister Ravi Karunanayake, UNP General Secretary and Minister Kabir Hashim tells us. No one with a modicum of intelligence expected a different outcome!

Minister Hashim, however, says the Marapana committee has recommended that Karunanayake desist from functioning as the Assistant Leader of the UNP ‘until a finality is reached by the Attorney General and/or the Bribery Commission that no legal action is to be filed against him’. Whom is it trying to fool?

What we have seen is the first part of the Bond Farce. The presidential commission report has been referred to the Attorney General and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) to consider whether legal action should be instituted against those named therein, we are told. One may recall how Mervyn Silva, who got into trouble over ‘check kiting’, under the previous government, had an escape route opened via the AG’s Department. He got away with his crime by reaching an agreement with the victim of the fraud! It was only a few weeks ago that an indictment against State Minister Palitha Range Bandara, who had been accused of obtaining money from a businessman in a controversial vehicle deal, was withdrawn. The AG’s Department told the Colombo High Court that the prosecution and Bandara had reached a settlement. That was the end of the case! The UNP wing of the government is peddling an argument that there is no need for anyone to worry because the losses due to bond scams can be recovered from Perpetual Treasuries, whose assets have been frozen. Will some pundit at Hulftsdorp claim that there is no need for legal action as well?

The stage is being set for the Bond Farce II, whose ending is not difficult to guess. It is highly unlikely that anybody will go to jail over the bond scams and only a fraction of the ill-gotten funds will be recovered. For, if the bond racketeers were made to stand trial and thrown to the wolves they wouldn’t take it lying down; they are bound to retaliate by exposing their political masters who masterminded the bond scams and got away with it by blatantly abusing their powers to manipulate the investigative processes.

Meanwhile, doubts have been cast, in some quarters, about the credibility and independence of the institutions, tasked with taking action against the perpetrators of the bond scams. First of all, it needs to be asked whether the Attorney General or the CIABOC has taken action against any prominent yahapalana minister. How many complaints have been made against the incumbent ministers to the CIABOC? And, how many of them have been entertained and/or investigated? Before venturing to consider whether there are grounds for the bond racketeers to be prosecuted, will the AG reveal what has become of the criminal file (No: C/187/161/2015) his department opened on June 30, 2015, on the basis of the findings of a CID investigation into the first bond scam? Will he explain why no criminal action was instituted and the criminal file was subsequently converted into a confidential one (CF/08/2015) before being caused to disappear? How can any person in his or her proper senses be expected to repose his or her trust in the AG’s Department?

Above all, it needs to be found out whether any members of the outfits that probed the bond scams have had links to the UNP and/or provided professional services to that party in the past and, if so, whether their political connections led to a conflict of interest on their part and affected their neutrality and impartiality in carrying out the task assigned to them. Their observations, findings and recommendations smack of a bias and make one wonder whether they have compromised their professional integrity and gone out of their way to clear certain politicians of wrongdoing. These are some of the issues that need to be raised in Parliament when it takes up the bond scam report for debate next week. But, we know we are only hoping against hope in that the cantankerous Opposition notables, pretending to be carrying out frontal attacks against the beleaguered UNP over the bond scams, are also compromised beyond redemption. They themselves have skeletons in their cupboards, which look like catacombs. They and the UNP are like President Donald Trump and the Rocket Man of North Korea threatening to push the much-dreaded nuclear buttons on their desks but baulking at doing so for fear of MAD (mutually assured destruction).

One Response to “Await Bond Farce II”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Well said again.

    [Quote] But, we know we are only hoping against hope in that the cantankerous Opposition notables, pretending to be carrying out frontal attacks against the beleaguered UNP over the bond scams, are also compromised beyond redemption. They themselves have skeletons in their cupboards, which look like catacombs. They and the UNP are like President Donald Trump and the Rocket Man of North Korea threatening to push the much-dreaded nuclear buttons on their desks but baulking at doing so for fear of MAD (mutually assured destruction). [Unquote]

    JO/SLPP is protecting UNP and the UNP is saving JO/SLPP. Together they have over 150 seats in parliament sufficient to impeach the president if he ever tries to prosecute UNP or JO leaders. Birds of a feather flock together.

    A JO leader not only didn’t sign or vote for the no confidence motion against Ravi, he even denies there ever was one. This was the third time they saved Ravi. He was clearly implicit in money laundering in 2008 but he was let off the hook. On May 18, 2015 JO leaders (at that time UPFA MPs) handed over a no confidence motion against Ravil at the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa’s residence! This is the first time a no confidence motion was handed over outside parliament. Obviously it was not taken up in parliament for over a month. The parliament was dissolved on June 25, 2015. People were fooled by JO MPs who pretended to be opposed to the bond scam!

    FCID has enough cases against all members of the Rajapaksa family and other key JO MPs. But FCID comes under the UNP. These findings are used to blackmail JO MPs not to support Sirisena in punishing bond crooks.

    A weak and fearful president is a disgrace to the post he holds. Sirisena has made a fool of himself and the post.

    If he is serious about keeping his election promises he must concurrently move against both UNP and JO leaders come what may. He can prorogue parliament preventing any impeachment against him until UNP and JO leaders are expelled from it as recommended by various Presidential Commissions made up of retired judges. Then the parliament will be forced to elect new leaders for these groups. The perfect opportunity for Sri Lanka to be free from feudal political clans – the curse of the nation.

    If Sirisena can do it, he is a true hero and voters will reward him for Nanthikadal-2. Is Sri Lanka so fortunate?

    Knowing very well Sirisena’s SLFP is going to lose, Sirisena is heavily relying on SLPP elected candidates to boost his SLFP. This is why he hasn’t expelled any SLPP politician despite contesting against his party. He is fully confident many SLPP elected candidates will crossover to the SLFP after the election. Otherwise he will simply cut funding to them. So he needs Mahinda and Basil now but only until the election is over. To this end, Sirisena has suspended all action against SLPP/JO leaders. Mahinda will do all the hard work but Sirisena will reap the harvest once again. Thereafter he will throw a few Rajapaksas behind bars. This way Sirisena will tame the UNP.

    Makes perfect political sense but what happens to corruption? What about election promises? They are as good as Sirisena’s mind. Always contradicting.

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