Mystery gazette forces suspension of sittings Probe on CBSL bond scam
Posted on February 23rd, 2017

Chairman of the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Bond Scam, Supreme Court Judge K. T. Chithrasiri yesterday temporarily suspended its sittings after halting the recording of evidence from Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunge.

The commission ceased to record evidence from the Finance Ministry Secretary due to the controversial situation which arose with regard to the Special Gazette notification issued on January 1, 2015 pertaining to the issuance of Central Bank bonds.

The dispute arose about the actual date on which the special gazette notification dated January 1, 2015 was printed.Hence the Commission ordered that a statement should be recorded from the Government Printer prior to the Commission resumed recording of evidence of others said the Commission Chairman K. T. Chithrasiri.

He said the Commission needed to establish on which date the gazette notification dated January 1, 2015 was actually printed.

It further elaborated that former Finance and Policy Planning Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s name was mentioned as one of the signatories to the gazette notification and it had to be corroborated.

When a copy of the said gazette notification was forwarded to Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. Samaratunge by Senior State Counsel Dr. Avanthi Perera and questioned about the veracity of it, Samaratunge had said he had no knowledge about it.

Samaratunge in his evidence said that when the gazette notification was issued he was not the Secretary to the Finance Ministry.

When Senior State Counsel Dr. Avanthi Perera told him that in the gazette notification dated January 1, 2015 it was mentioned about the issuance of Treasury Bonds of 30 years worth Rs. 10,058 million at an interest of 12.5 percent on March 15, 2015, Dr. Amaratunge had said he had no knowledge of it.

Since the Commission was hitherto not aware of the existence of such a gazette notification, the date of its publication had to be established from the Government Printer, the Commission Chairman said.

Supreme Court Judge K. A. Chandrasiri after issuing the order to obtain the above statement ordered the Finance Ministry Secretary to appear before the Commission on Monday February 27.

The Presidential Commission of inquiry probing the alleged Central Bank Bond Scam of February 15, 2015 comprises Supreme Court judges K. T. Chitrasiri and Prasanna S. Jayawardena and Deputy Auditor General (Rtd.) K. Velupillai.

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