Lying before COPE can lead to prosecution in courts

27 September 2017 12:01 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

MP and COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti responded to questions posed to him by our sister paper ‘Sunday Lankadeepa’ on the dragging on of the Central Bank Bond scam and the developments in the political scene. Following are excerpts of the interview.


  • Some may be able to escape through legal interpretations, but it is now clear to the society who are the king pings of the Bond scam
  • Those state officials who assisted private companies to engage in this type of fraudulent acts are answerable to the Parliament
  • I don’t think the decision of this Commission would be different to the decision made by the COPE
  • The former President had said that because people weren’t observing Sil, he had distributed the cloth among them
  • The dignity of the robe has to be maintained not by laymen, but by the venerable Monks who drape them
  • In 2020 there is an opportunity for the masses of this country to give an opportunity to the JVP to rule the country

Q The Chief Executive Officer of Perpetual Treasuries Kasun Palisena , had stated that Arjun Aloysius had lied to the COPE Committee. Isn’t it apparent that the COPE Committee report contains this type of fabrications?   
Anyone appearing before the COPE Committee gives evidence under oath, which is the tradition. Unlike in courts this oath isn’t taken by us at all times. But all are aware that they are giving evidence under oath. This means that the evidence they are giving is nothing but the truth, hence no falsified evidence is given.

This has a close relationship between one’s own self conscience and the evidence that is being given. In this instance if what was said wasn’t true, the Parliament can take action on the advice of the Attorney General under the suppression of vital information and institute court action. As this matter is still under review we are watching this situation. The Parliament also has the responsibility to take suitable action against anyone irrespective of his or her position for suppressing vital information.  

Q It appears that interesting scenes in the Bond drama are now taking centre stage.   
Some may be able to escape through legal interpretations, but it is now clear to the society who are the king pings of the Bond scam. This was proven even before the court case began. The same facts that were revealed by the COPE Committee are now being further confirmed by the Presidential Commission. The only difference is that more vital information is being revealed. And now it is evident that with the support of the former Governor of the Central Bank, the company of his son-in-law had profited illegally and for this activity there had been political patronage and support of officials. Just consider an ordinary Bank official resorting to this type of activity.

What will be the outcome? If the money in the bank had been given by a bank official to one of his relatives on the basis of daily interest and if he got caught what would be the result? Here in this instance the head of the Central Bank had committed a similar act. Just think of the gravity of such an act. Kasun Palisena had stated that he received millions in the form of a bonus. From where did this money come? As far as I am aware no labour had been deployed by this company to earn so much profits. It’s very clear that monies have been raised without having money in one’s possession. Whichever way you probe this the outcome will be the same.   

Sarath Fonseka did his campaigning extremely well. He could have won. Halfway through the campaign he acted against the Army principles. He couldn’t establish himself as a politician during that election

Q If there are others who had lied before the COPE then what will happen?
This matter isn’t going to end here. Central Bank is answerable to the Parliament everyday. That means these officials have to be summoned before the Parliament even in the future. Those state officials who assisted private companies to engage in this type of fraudulent acts are answerable to the Parliament.   

Q How is the COPE keeping watch over these new developments?  
In a few days time the findings of the Presidential Commission would be known. I don’t think the decision of this Commission would be different to the decision made by the COPE. A court procedure will follow and very soon those found guilty would be punished.   

Q Are there any possibilities of this matter ending soon?  
I firmly believe that this would end soon.   

Q The two convicted over the SIL clothes have been granted bail.   
Yes I observed that. The distribution of SIL clothes is a meritorious act. But what happened here wasn’t the distribution of SIL clothes. These were ‘election’ clothes. Our monks have been misinformed and they were forced to go on Pindapatha (Begging for alms). These clothes were distributed purely to obtain preferential votes and not for the purpose of observing Sil. The former President had said that because people weren’t observing Sil, he had distributed the cloth among them. If so why did he then not distribute them earlier and wait til the elections? Why was it not done through the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and why were funds obtained from TRC? The TRC should have taken over the functions of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana. Why do they have a commissioner for Buddhist affairs and pay him maintenance?   

And now it is evident that with the support of the former Governor of the Central Bank, the company of his son-in-law had profited illegally and for this activity there had been political patronage and support of officials. Just consider an ordinary Bank official resorting to this type of activity. What will be the outcome?

Q Now what will happen to the money that was already collected during the Pindapatha rounds?  
Engaging in Pindapatha is a cultural event that has been present for many years. This is the first time we witnessed an event of this nature. Anyway it was good to see the monks leave the Temples and take to the roads.   

Q However there were stones and brickbats hurled at the saffron robes.   
The dignity of the Police uniform has to be protected by the Police and not by thieves. The dignity of the garb of lawyers has to be protected by lawyers and not by the accused. The dignity of the doctor’s dress has to be protected by the doctors and not by patients. Likewise the dignity of the robe has to be maintained not by laymen, but by the venerable Monks who drape them. Therefore no one can be blamed.  

Q There were many who said that those who gave the orders were sitting pretty, while those who carried out the orders had to go to jail.   
The only solution is to establish a Government that can send those officials who gave orders to jail. What happened here was those who carried out the orders were confined to jail whereas those who gave orders were bestowed with Ministerial posts. We need a Government that can send the politicians who gave orders to jail.   

Q You were mentioning repeatedly that this Government would fall in 2020. Are you inferring that these politicians would be sent to jail by a Government formed through a majority of JVPers?   
It is crystal clear that there is no alternative. By sowing Undu you can’t expect a harvest of Thala. It is a joke to expect this Government to catch the big thieves. In 2020 there is an opportunity for the masses of this country to give an opportunity to the JVP to rule the country.   

Q Arundika Fernando who crossed over to the Opposition recently had stated that he would risk his life to topple this Government. Now it appears that the JVP will have to face the challenge posed by this force too.   
What type of a Government can people who jump from here to there like frogs form? The UNP and the SLFP did rule this country for many years, but in what way did the country benefit? Now they have joined together to rule this country. Is this arrangement any better?

The only solution is to establish a Government that can send those officials who gave orders to jail

Q Having only six MPs now people are inquiring what type of Government they can form?
That is why we are forming a broad force. We are aware that the JVP alone can’t achieve it. We have made this estimate it and wish to include people who can ease the burden of debt, increase production and handle the economy.   

Q Do you mean the type of people who can tighten their belts as mentioned by Ranil Wickremesinghe?
No we don’t mean that. We need people who really understand what caused these debts and how to stop wastage.The present Government,  is engaged in selling household goods to settle debts. By doing this finally a Government will be penniless. We must find solutions to this problem. You can’t work with thieves to get this done. Nothing is possible with those who are bent on stealing from the day they they get a taste of power.   

Q You maintain that it isn’t possible to assume power without the support of others. Assuming power might be possible with some of those who are watching the situation and waiting to crossover. What would you say of to these type of politicians?   
It can never happen. In our politics that tradition doesn’t exist. This party is a force that is engaging in work. We can’t allow it to become a bigger force by taking in thieves. We have enough support to form a Government. What we say is not to give power to the UNP or SLFP.   

Q Governments formed by these two parties had the support of the JVP in the past   
There were instances when we supported these parties, but those were regarding acceptable issues When we joined in, formed a Government and held Ministerial posts we never faulted and didn’t allow any wrongdoings.   

Q Mahinda Rajapakse who assumed power with your support later attempted to move towards a dictatorship. The JVP can’t deny this.   
One can’t say definitely that our support helped Mahinda Rajapakse to become a dictator. We felt sorry that the support given by us was misused.   

Q In the 2010 Elections the JVP strongly supported the move to make Sarath Fonseka the President. What would have happened if Fonseka became president? 
We knew that it would’t happen.  

Q If you knew the outcome then why were you involved in this campaign?
At that time it was clear that Mahinda Rajapakse was trying to use the bullet instead of the ballot. We needed a bullet to match the other bullet. Therefore Sarath Fonseka became our choice.   

Q Knowing that Sarath Fonseka would lose, you made him believe that he will be the winner..   
You can’t say that. This is the way of politics. Towards the end of the campaign everything changed. Sarath Fonseka did his campaigning extremely well. He could have won. Halfway through the campaign he acted against the Army principles. He couldn’t establish himself as a politician during that election and that is what happened..  

The distribution of SIL clothes is a meritorious act. But what happened here wasn’t the distribution of SIL clothes. These were ‘election’ clothes. Our monks have been misinformed and they were forced to go on Pindapatha. These clothes were distributed purely to obtain preferential votes 

Q When reading this story Sarath Fonseka might think that the JVP played a double game.   
If not for us he couldn’t have become a presidential candidate. If he is grateful he can’t forget what we did for him.     

  Comments - 1

  • ranjit demel Wednesday, 27 September 2017 05:35 PM

    the jvp has voted with the govrnment because jvp new if elections are held right now for local and provincial c. elections they wont have a chance.in 2020 jvp wont even have 6 in the parliament.,because no one will trust you all now.corruption comes after one has power.


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




Public transport 'side-laned'?

“Miss, mantheeru neethiya nisa api bus passen yanna one. Ithin drop eka par

Land acquisitions in Hanthana and Knuckles Mountain ranges

Sri Lankans will soon lose their opportunity to boast about the rich biodiver

Wanathawilluwa forest clearance: Whodunit?

Days after the Anawilundawa Ramsar Wetland, situated in Puttalam District, ma

‘I’m scared to see her face’

On August 13, a woman happened to meet a child who was in desperate need of h