Bond scams: Words, words, words!
Posted on January 24th, 2017

Editorial Courtesy The Island

We usually hear a cacophony of croaks near the Diayawanna Oya. At the end of the day, all shouting, abuse and barbs which pass for parliamentary debates leave the public none the wiser. The right of the national legislature to discuss matters it thinks to be important cannot be questioned. But, we are afraid, most such debates are tantamount to an utter waste of public funds utilised to keep the House open on sitting days. Some of the ruling coalition pundits keep arguing that it is advisable to close down the loss-incurring national carrier than to keep it afloat. One wonders whether the same is true of many other state institutions.

Yesterday, there was a difference, though. Parliament was debating the COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) report on the Central Bank bond scams and several members, all from the Opposition, for once, managed to infuse some sense into the debate. They deserve praise though it is doubtful whether the ordinary people had the time to watch the whole debate live on TV and were able to draw rational conclusions without being swayed by partisan politics.

The yahapalana bigwigs got caught once again with their pants and sarongs down. They, true to form, tried to defend the indefensible. They were exposed for their favourite pickpocket ruse as it were. Pickpockets place their confederates strategically along possible escape routes so that in case of a botched attempt followed by a pursuit their friends could join the pursuers in catching them and then craftily remove them to safety on the pretext of making a citizen’s arrest. This is the method the UNP has adopted to save the bond thieves.

The UNP first appointed a committee consisting of its lawyers and had the then Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran exonerated from wrongdoing. It succeeded in enlisting President Maithripala Sirisena’s support to dissolve Parliament in 2015 before the presentation of the COPE report, which would have had a devastating impact on its parliamentary polls campaign. Having committed that cardinal political sin, the President is now duty bound to ensure that the bond scams will be properly probed by the presidential commission he is going to appoint.

The UNP also made no bones about its determined bid to sabotage the COPE probe under the present Parliament into the bond thefts. Its members went so far as to abuse Central Bank officials and even the Auditor General verbally in a threatening manner in a bid to suppress evidence against Mahendran et al. Having failed to derail the parliamentary watchdog committee process, it sought to weaken the COPE report by inserting footnotes into it. The UNP succeeded in preventing its leader being named in the report thanks to its rapport with the new JVP. Unable to open an escape route for bond thieves through Parliament the UNP is now trying to open one via Hulftsdorp with the help of malleable state prosecutors, police high-ups and judicial officers.

Only the naïve may have expected the UNP or the Opposition to come out with anything different in yesterday’s debate. Chief Government Whip Lakshman Kirielle did his damnedest to have the House believe that a botched attempt by a group of some civil society activists to move the Supreme Court against Mahendran et al was sufficient proof that there had been no bond scams! The case, which was too weak, was dismissed on different grounds. Interestingly, the government has sacked the Lanka Coal Company Chairman Maithri Gunaratne, who demanded that a questionable coal tender be scrapped as the Supreme Court had said the deal which had shaken its conscience could be cancelled.

The previous government took the masses for asses and thought anything coated with its brand of patriotism could be rammed down their throats. The incumbent dispensation apparently thinks people are goats and koskola (jak leaves) mixed with a little bit of yahapalanaya can be shoved down their throats. Reflected in the UNP’s arguments yesterday in defence of the bond thieves was this mindset.

The Joint Opposition (JO) can certainly do much more than it is doing at present to crank up pressure on the government to stop giving kid glove treatment to the bond thieves who are going places. Intriguingly, while claiming that it will topple the government before the end of the current year it baulks at flogging the bond issue hard enough to mobilise the people against the government. The bond scams have adversely impacted on about six million workers in the private sector dependent on the EPF, which has suffered a huge loss due to the bond thefts. The JO ought to explain why it has stopped short of taking to the streets on the crucial issue.

Meanwhile, the only way to bring the bond thieves to justice is to conduct a thorough presidential probe into the COPE findings and prepare a solid case against them. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday that President Sirisena was exploring ways and means of recovering the public funds stolen by the bond thieves. The President will have to find out the provenance of the funds these crooks have invested locally and whether part of them has been utilised to pollute the media through investments therein. The President alone has the powers to get to the bottom of it. It is hoped that he will have a thorough probe conducted into the bond scams, bring the culprits to justice and, thereby, live up to people’s expectations.

One more thing: let the President and his government be urged to dissolve the FCID, the CID and the CIABOC for their failure to arrest the bond thieves. They have forfeited their right to be taken seriously and maintained with public funds. Those responsible for the biggest ever bank robbery are still free. As it is popularly said in this country, of what use is a sword which is not available for war?

5 Responses to “Bond scams: Words, words, words!”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    We all know the President is a two tonged puppet and a traitor. He is so scared of Ranil and is obliged to protect him for making him the president. So the outcome of the commission he appoints will depend on the people he appoints to this commission and will be influenced by the gang of crooks, Ranil, Ravi and Kiriella. They must have already written the commission’s report. Why is Chandrika modi silent about this issue? Will this commission also inquire why the CID and the FCID did not investigate the biggest robbery that ever took place in the country?

  2. AnuD Says:

    Why did the open a foreign ministry office in Jaffna. Is the federalist state complete. It is not a passport office they opneed there.

    Journalists are always in the dark. They write other craps.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Pal Horu KALLIYAK!

    However much we tell this PANA-NATHI JANA-PATHI that his PARA-GATHI AGA-MATHI robbed the CENTRAL BANK in broad daylight by his foreign bank robbing pal, he is allowing that FOREIGN THIEF to cover his tracks, and further CONNIVE in stealing national funds, and to draw a pay at the STATE’S expense!

    Meanwhile, Wimal Weerawansa is arrested and remanded PENDING investigation of his alleged misuse of govt vehicles!

    Why is Arjun Mahendran, at the least, not treated in EXACTLY the SAME WAY as Wimal?

    Why is the man who LOOTED the CENTRAL BANK of a sum of money that is SO LARGE that affects the ability of the nation to service the National Debt STILL not only FREE, but is EMPLOYED by the Government as a TRUSTED ADVISOR to the PARA-GATHI AGA-MATHI??

    Why is Arjun Mahendran, and his sidekick relative Aloysius, NOT IN PRISON pending investigation and prosecution?

    It is reported that Aloysius is buying large amounts of real estate and businesses with his STOLEN LOOT!

    Why has the PANA-NATHI JANA-PATHI Ayooooo Sirisena not ordered their FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS to be IMPOUNDED, and their ASSETS HELD IN CUSTODY, until they are prosecuted and a determination made by the courts on their guilt? When a Pal Hora is caught with the goods, why is there still insufficient evidence to prosecute and DOUBT about his guilt?

    Why is the PANA-NATHI JANA-PATHI not discharging his BOUNDEN DUTY to protect the ASSETS of the PEOPLE of Sri Lanka?

    Are you DEAF and BLIND, or you merely in CAHOOTS with them also, and running for cover?

    ACT NOW and ACT FIRMLY to PROSECUTE all of these THIEVES, and RECOVER the STOLEN WEALTH of the Sri Lankan People!

    We, the People of Sri Lanka, will hold you PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for your FAILURE to ACT, and ACT FAST!

  4. NAK Says:

    The President himself is implicated in the Bond scam because he himself claimed in the open that he dissolved parliament in order to prevent the first COPE report being presented to the parliament.

  5. NAK Says:

    Usually commission reports have the habit of disappearing after submission.

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