Will the government take legal action against fugitive Bond Scammer Mahendran? 
Posted on January 7th, 2018


The Bond Scam Commission Report has created a strong whirlwind which has made everyone curious and wonder what the final outcome of it would be, whether it will be hushed up until at least the end of local government election and also it has made the UNP much worried forcing some UNP MPs including Ravi Karunanayake to seek an appointment with the Chairman of the Election Commission to halt the release of the report until the end of elections.

Nevertheless, there is allegation that what was revealed by President Sirisena on 3rd January in his 21 minute pre-recorded well rehearsed address was a carefully crafted delivery pregnant with nuances to help him gain some prestige in the election period. So far the report has not been seen by anyone and a copy has not even been delivered to his main coalition partner in the government the Prime Minster Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe despite he made a request for the copy and came all the way from Nuwara Elya cutting short his year end holiday there and he has not even been allowed to see a copy of the report or have a discussion about the report.  So there remains a suspicion whether the report will be submitted to Parliament as it had been promised.

Political analysts point out that Sirisena has firstly vented his anger on the UNP, using a credible account that has emanated from the report and secondly the political missiles Sirisena fired are sure to hurt the UNP’s local polls campaign with the exception of the party’s strongholds. They say that it will also affect the UNP’s slow preparations, with the help of even foreign communication experts, for the next presidential and parliamentary elections.

A UNP Cabinet Minister is reported to have told the Sunday Times that there is only one Government in Sri Lanka formed together by the SLFP and the UNP and despite that this is a situation where there is a publicly demonstrated assumption that there are two different Governments, one by the SLFP and another by the UNP. He has said that this may be the first time a President has not taken into confidence his own Prime Minister in sharing a document that is going to be placed before the public. The Minister has raised the question whether President Sirisena has lost the trust and confidence of Premier Wickremesinghe? More so, he chose not to share a copy of the Commission report with him and brief him only on the contents of his address just hours before he delivered it.

The Sunday Times said that the Commission has also raised issue on the placement of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) under the Prime Minister on grounds of the legality of that exercise. The Commission is of the view that in terms of the law, the subject should have remained with the Ministry of Finance.

The Attorney General’s Department has opined that since two Judges of the Supreme Court, who were members of the Commission, had held that Karunanayake had given false evidence, there is already a strong case against him.  However, Karunanayake has remained defiant and has said that he had been in politics for 25 years and this was the first time his ‘integrity’ is being challenged.

As per the address delivered by Sirisena the Commission report refers to the allegation against former Finance Minister Mr Ravi Karunanayake regarding the payment of rent for the penthouse apartment belonging to the Aloysius Family and their Walt and Rowe Company and stated that Mr Karunanayake was responsible for that and recommended that the government should to take necessary action against him. Further legal action under the Penal Code for giving false evidence at the Commission has also been recommended.

The main culprit in the scam Arjun Mahendran meanwhile has fled the country unhindered and the joint opposition has alleged that his exit could have been engineered by some interested parties in the government.  The former Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris has charged that it was the gross inaction on the part of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that paved the way for Mahendran to flee and he could have been arrested in Sri Lanka had Sirisena and Ranil heeded the advice of the Joint Opposition, given at the right time, well ahead of Mahendran getting away scot free. He has further stated tht the joint opposition repeatedly requested the government to impound Mahendran’s Singapore passport but the government ignored these requests.

While quoting that Mahendran has said that he had given sufficient evidence to the Commission and he has no reason to be in Sri Lanka and he has absolutely no intention of returning the Professor points out that this is an absurd situation where members of the Joint Opposition have been arrested and remanded and their passports impounded for reasons of far lesser magnitude and much more flimsy such as being unable to account for GI pipes.

Responding to a question as to whether there is a possibility of the Government getting an international agency, such as Interpol, to arrest Mahendran, he has said then the Government will have to resort to extradition procedures, where it will have to request the Government of Singapore to extradite him, which will be a complex, and cumbersome procedure. He has said the irony of it was that the Government was trying to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted. There were enough grounds for the Government to put him in remand prison, Prof. Peiris has said in veritable disgust.

Disputing the claim made by Sirisena’s statement that the loss to the government was Rs. 11,145 Million the Colombo District JO MP Mr. Bandula Gunawardene has said that it was only the profits made by Perpetual Treasuries, but the real loss to the Central Bank and the Government amounted to well over a whopping Rs 2 Trillion.

The writer of the Sunday Times’ 5th Column which is normally used to sling mud at non-UNP politicians has commented this week as follows:  The public are not interested in excuses, Maithri, they elected you to do a job and after three years, that job is not even half done.

PS: Do you recall the pledge you gave three years ago, promising you will never run for office again. Some ministers say you will be their candidate. Your silence on the issue is deafening. Has another of our Presidents been seduced by the power that JR’s Constitution gives them? Tell us, Maithri, we want to know”.

The former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission Attorney at Law Prathiba Mahanamahewa says that a case could be filed against the Bond Scam accused Mahendran and his assets in Singapore could also be confiscated.  He said that for this purpose Sri Lanka should seek the assistance of Singapore.  He stated that the case can be heard by our Courts in absentia of the accused and upon communicating the verdict to the Singapore judiciary his properties and asset in Singapore can be confiscated to redeem the losses caused to the country by him.  Mr. Mahanamahewa has further stated that this action should now be immediately initiated by the Attorney General.

The veteran political columnist C.A.Chabdraprema says that the tepid statement made by Sirisena on the Bond Commission report has dissapponted his SLFP Ministers who expected that Sirisena will go all out against the UNP once the report is out and thereby win a large slice of the pro-government votes.   He says for months, members of the JO, SLFP and JVP had been vying with one another to portray all those even remotely involved in the bond matter as rogues and the bond issues themselves as the biggest frauds ever perpetrated in this country or even the South Asia, Asia and even the whole world. He reminds that the SLFP State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene went on record saying that the loss from the bond scam was over one trillion rupees and when he was questioned about this figure he told reporters, “Trust me, I was in the banking sector once, the loss is over one trillion rupees.” He says that one of the most outspoken SLFP figures in this regard was Minister Susil Premajayantha who explained all the cloak and dagger stuff that went into the bond transactions in dramatic detail in parliament.

Chandraprema points out that after months of such posturing, the President’s special statement on the final report of the bond commission was a damp squib to say the least. One thing that this showed was that there is an obvious mismatch between what the President is prepared to do to improve the SLFP’s prospects and what the SLFP ministers and MPs in the government thinks should be done to improve the prospects of the party. This mismatch largely stems from the fact that the SLFP President was voted in by a largely UNP voter base while all his followers in the SLFP government group were elected on the SLFP vote – a vote base that was opposed to everything that the yahapalana government stood for. So the SLFP ministers always sought to pander to their base by attacking the UNP at every opportunity they got and the President too allowed this to happen probably because he was trying to build a party base apart from the UNP.

But now, he says all that has come a cropper with the President’s statement which had the effect of sweeping the bond commission under the carpet. All that has happened is that the President has sent the bond commission report to the Attorney General for further action. The Prime Minister pointed out in a subsequent statement that he too had sent parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi’s COPE committee report on the bond commission to the AG back in 2016. The columnist reminds that the people expected to see bond scammers be brought to hand cuffed to courts as it had been done to opposition politicians including former Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

He points out the allegations against members of the previous government were just allegations whereas the bond commission carried out a thorough investigation with clear evidence of wrongdoing emerging. He states that in these circumstances, the Podujana Peramuna should thank its lucky stars that the negotiations for the Joint Opposition and the SLFP to field a joint list at the forthcoming local government elections fell through Had that move succeeded and the Joint Opposition was in a partnership with the SLFP, he adds that the JO too would have ended up with egg on their faces following the President’s anticlimactic statement on the bond scam. The Podujana Peramuna would not be able to go before the people and claim that they were against the UNP being let off so lightly when they were in an alliance with the SLFP.

The situation that has arisen after President Sirisena’s special statement once again highlights why the government should be the government and the opposition should be the opposition and the twain should never meet – not in an electoral alliance anyway.  What this shows is that the SLFP finally has no control over the decisions made by its leader and the SLFP campaign is in tatters and any hope they had of being able to masquerade as a part of the opposition while being a partner in the government ended last Wednesday. To make things worse, the veteran journalist says that the members of the SLFP were forced to defend the UNP Prime Minister at the SLFP press conferences that followed the President’s statement saying that the Commission has not found fault with the Prime Minister.

The former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa has challenged the commission’s calculations stating that this is no ordinary scam but one that has affected the whole country and the cost of living of every citizen. Similar to MP Bandula Gunawardene he has asserted that Rs. 11 billion is just the profit made by Perpetual Treasuries in one year through the bond scam and that there are other factors to be taken into account such as the increase in the interest rates by about three percentage points, and the loss to the government resulting from the interest rate increase alone is in the range of Rs. 126 billion. Further, he has pointed out that as a result of the flight of foreign money from the bond market following this scam and other reasons, the value of the rupee depreciated by about 16% which resulted in the increase of the government foreign debt by about Rs 512 billion. As a result of the increase in the interest rates, the debt of companies and individuals had increased by about Rs. 280 billion. Thus the actual direct and indirect loss to the government and the people of Sri Lanka from the bond scam is over one trillion rupees.

Dr. Godahewa has accused the government of trying to cover up the bond scam and he has drawn the attention of the public to the manner in which the President dissolved parliament when D.E.W.Gunasekera was about to present the first COPE Committee report on the bond scam to the last Parliament and the manner in which the Auditor General had been summoned by the Prime Minister to be told that the AG was calculating the loss from the bond scam in the wrong manner. He also has reminded the public of the manner in which the UNP tried to move court to prevent the release of the first COPE committee report and the manner in which UNP State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe wrote a book stating that no fraud had taken place at the bond auctions, and the manner in which a group of parliamentarians added footnotes to the second COPE report to make the same assertion.

The Sunday Island Editorial of 7th January has also criticized Sirisena for releasing a part version of the much awaited Central Bank Bond Commission report with selected excerpts and says that the people with whose taxes paid the cost of such inquiries continue to remain in the dark about their results while those found culpable remain unpunished and un-shamed by their reprobate conduct. It points out that there have been second (and even third) thoughts on what parts would be made public and what will be held back and the later version had taken the sting out removing references to faulting the Prime Minister for not taking action against the then Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran and also blindly believing in him and reference to   former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake. Thereafter Karunanayake’s name had been restored but Wickremesinghe’s removed. In the public mind former Governor Arjuna Mahendran is damned and the prime minister stands culpable at least of bad judgment in making the appointment in the first place.

Commenting on the forthcoming LG Electind the editorial points out that president Sirisena does not appear to want to break with Wickremesinghe and the UNP but he also seems to be looking for advantages he can gain from the Bond Report in the forthcoming election where his SLFP, Rajapaksa’s JO and the UNP are the three main contenders. The February local elections are not the big bang; they lead up to first the provincial council, then presidential and parliamentary elections. But the results of Feb. 10 it says will certainly indicate how the papadam will crumble in the short term.


2 Responses to “Will the government take legal action against fugitive Bond Scammer Mahendran? ”

  1. ranjit Says:

    From the day one Sirisena left President Mahinda Rajapaksa after eating hoppers was a conspiracy orchestrated by himself,UNP and the outsiders America and the Indian parasites. He will never side with MR nor MR should join with Sirisena. These two (Sira and Ranil) evil witch Hunters will go after Mahinda and his JO guys only not others. So we cannot expect anything from the James bond robbery or any other robbery if UNP or SLFP (SIRA) side involved. Though they sling mud each other they are two good friends. They will stay together till Mahinda disappear from politics. That’s the plan hatched by Americans and the Indian parasites. SLFPER’S in Sira clique will not leave their Ministry posts at any circumstances because they will never get a chance again to have all those perks and tamashas they are getting now. So only way to remove them is thru ballot or the people’s power led by pohottuwa symbol of freedom, prosperity, development and democracy. Think of the poor masses and the war heroes and vote for pohottuwa led by our most lovable leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

  2. Christie Says:

    The Hon. Presidents Commission has come out with this and that.

    When are we going to have a Commission to find out who financed the Winners of the last National Elections?

    How much was involved and did the money earned by the mob lead by Mahendran cover the above outlays?

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