When the officials of the Attorney General’s Department first revealed that a member of Parliament had received one million rupees from a subsidiary company of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. (PTL) headed by Arjun Aloysius- who has been remanded after being implicated in the Central Bank bond scandal- they also revealed that a VIP had also received the same amount of money from the same source.
According to the B- Report submitted to Courts the Parliamentarian who obtained money from Aloysius was none other than former Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara.
Then, a few days later it was revealed that State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe had also received money from one of Aloysius’s companies. He had received three million rupees, according to the Attorney General’s Department. On the same day it was also revealed that Arjuna Mahendran. who was the Central Bank Governor when the scandal took place, also received Rs. 3.2 million from the PTL boss.
Aloysius giving money to Mahendran under normal circumstances cannot be faulted as the former is the latter’s son-in-law. But here, it is important because Mahendran had been accused of passing information on the controversial bond transaction that had been carried out on February 27, 2015 to Aloysius, one of the primary dealers of that transaction. Therefore it might amount to be a kick-back for insider dealing. Yet, that deal is also gradually being obscured by the revelation about Senasinghe.
Senasinghe’s defence seems to be very weak in this regard. He had said that he wasn’t aware that Aloysius had offered funds to his election campaign and argues that the funds received from the company linked to Aloysius months after the 2015 General Elections were meant for the same election. The transaction seems to be further suspicious as he had written a book justifying the controversial bond transaction.
Jayasekara had stated that he wasn’t the only Parliamentarian to receive money from PTL. His claim that 118 people had been recipients of Aloysius’ money took wings and some politicians and the media started to talk about a list of 118 MPs contained in the Bond Commission report. Then the Convener of the Voice Against Corruption and JVP provincial councillor Wasantha Samarasinghe said it was not 118, but 166 recipients who were on Aloysius’ pay list. Finally The Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya put an end to all these speculations, saying that there was no such list in the Bond Commission report.
The whole episode has confused the people of the country while politicians were politicising the issue. This isn’t a matter that should be taken lightly or taken as a political football as it might be the largest financial fraud to have taken place in Sri Lankan history and the funds plundered by the scammers belonged to people of all
This time it was exposed because the President and the Prime Minister represent two political parties. Had this been a Government with a President and a Prime Minister from the same party, this matter also would have been easily swept under the carpet. Hence all those involved even in a remote way should be exposed and brought to book, while taking measures to recover the public funds plundered.
Therefore, if the contents of the Bond Commission report do not hinder the court proceedings on the matter, it must be presented in Parliament and made a public document, putting an end to all speculations, irrespective of who is going to be affected by it. And also President Maithripala Sirisena should bring in forthwith the three Bills he promised to provide for the recovery of the monies plundered through such high profile rackets.
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