By Ajith Alahakoon
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was directly involved in the Treasury bond scams and he cannot absolve himself of the responsibility for them by scapegoating Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake for the biggest ever fraud in the country’s history, a senior JVPer says.
Addressing a press conference at the JVP headquarters in Pelawatte, Its Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said: The Central Bank has been under the Prime Minister. He is the one who appointed Arjuna Mahendran to the post of Governor of the Central Bank. Therefore, he should take the blame for the bond scams. He cannot say his hands are clean. The entire country is aware of his involvement. We demand that he too be sum moned before the presidential commission investigating the Treasury Bond scandals.
The MP said that the law should be implemented against all those involved in the scams. “The position of those who swindled public funds is immaterial here. The five star democracy the Prime Minister is talking of is bunkum if he plans to get away by throwing Minister Karunanayake to the wolves.
“Now, it has been proved that Minister Karunanayake was involved in the scam. He should resign or be sacked. We do not expect this government to sack him. The government protects thieves. That is why we are supporting the no-faith motion against him. We know the possible reaction from the government over this issue. There is a precedent. Three ministers involved in protecting interests of Avant Garde company and when we exposed them, one minister resigned. It was only a temporary measure in the face of public displeasure. That MP has been appointed a Cabinet minister again.
“Those responsible for the Treasury bond scams are now known to the entire country. There have been two COPE reports on this issue. The government always tried to sweep the issue under the carpet. First, they dissolved Parliament before the first COPE report was presented. Then there was another COPE investigation. The UNP MPs tried to sabotage it. At the end they came with footnotes to dilute the severity of COPE findings. They had no shame and signed those footnotes. Now, the scam is being exposed before a Presidential Commission of Inquiry. What else does one need to identify the culprits in this case?”
JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said: The Commission should summon the UNP members of the COPE and investigate their phone records so that the commission could find how Arjun Aloysius and Arjuna Mahendran tried to manipulate the COPE investigation into the bond scams. Many UNP members are involved in the scam. Many would go to jail if the probe is conducted a transparent and fair manner.