President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday threw down the gauntlet in Parliament challenging it to debate the bond report before the pending local government elections and reiterating his commitment to punish any wrongdoers found guilty of bond irregularities.
Speaking at an election rally in Panadura, President Sirisena in strident tones called for Parliament to have at least a one-day debate on the bond report before 10 February.
“Association of the elite corrupt came together and said they do not want to debate the bond commission report in Parliament before elections. I challenge all of them to at least have one day’s debate on the bond commission report before the Local Government elections.”
He also noted that the naysayers who ridiculed his decision to appoint a Presidential Commission of Inquiry have now been proved wrong. Sirisena also lamented the lack of professionals to develop the country.
“I challenge anybody to come to a debate with me and I will reveal who is corrupt and who is not corrupt. As much as 30% of our politicians are absolutely corrupt.”
“In the history of commissions appointed in this country this commission on the bond attracted the attention of people the most. People understood that action would be taken and this was not a waste of time. We will persecute the offenders and we will recoup the losses to the country. However, before the courts decided who was guilty I know the people have passed judgment on them.”
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the controversial bond issuance, following 10 months of deliberations, handed over the final report on its findings to President Sirisena on 30 December, last year.