President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday lambasted the top UNP leadership alleging that he thwarted a despicable attempt to transfer funds from state banks to private banks. Had that move succeeded entire state banking sector would have collapsed, President Sirisena said, recalling how he managed to halt the move after a three month long battle.
President Sirisena said so at a commemorative event to mark the birth anniversary of Yahapalana architect the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI).
Among those in the audience were Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, MP, Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale and member of the Constitutional Council A.T. Ariyaratne.
An irate President Sirisena said that the late Ven Sobitha never told us to perpetrate Central Bank bond scams just after having formed a new administration.
The President was referring to the first treasury bond scam involving the CBSL and primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries Limited committed on Feb 27, 2015.
The Commander in Chief said that he could make a lot more revelations regarding post-presidential poll and he would discuss the issues later if there was an opportunity.
The SLFP leader said that he never expected former ministers T. B. Ekanayake and Priyankara Jayaratne to be subjected to investigations over alleged misuse of a vehicle and giving an appointment, respectively.
The President said that he knew what took place during the past three and half years.
Commenting on the role played by the SLFP group in the cabinet, President Sirisena said that he was able to thwart a spate of decisions severely inimical to the country thanks to the SLFPers. The President said that the then cabinet minister Ravi and Minister Atukorale could remember the situation in the cabinet.
President Sirisena declared that he could give a list pertaining to what the UNP did.
Commenting on post-presidential developments, Sirisena said that those who formulated the 100-day programme should have recommended the immediate dissolution of parliament after he took oaths as the president. The President flayed the UNP for the100-day project claiming that it overlooked the fact that such a programme couldn’t be implemented and Wickremesinghe was appointed PM despite the fact that the UNP parliamentary group comprised just 47members. The president said that the 100-day project was not realistic and various proposals couldn’t have been implemented if he didn’t take over the SLFP.
President said that he was accused of dissolving parliament to pave the way for parliamentary polls in August 2015 to prevent the presentation of the COPE report on the first bond scam to the parliament.
The UNP perpetrated the second bond scam in March 2016.
An angry President also explained how Wickremesinghe took over the two remaining vehicles assigned to him after releasing the rest to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President also revealed his conversation with Air Force Commander Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy regarding deployment of helicopters for his predecessor and family to leave for Tangalle.
At the onset of his speech, President explained how he was denied proper invitation to attend the event. The President also complained bitterly about an attempt being made to blame the delay in investigations into corruption cases by comparing him with newly elected Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamed