Testifying before the Bond Commission, Deputy Minister Dr Harsha de Silva today said despite several requests made during the course of COPE deliberations to obtain information regarding the secondary market transactions relating to all bond issuance since 2015 January, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka failed to provide them.
When questioned by State Counsel Dr Awanthi Perera, Dr Harsha de Silva, who was a member of the COPE, ascertained that the COPE kept asking the CBSL details about information regarding secondary market transactions to carry out broad investigations on the loss calculation due to the controversial bond issuances. However, he said the COPE was informed about the unavailability of such details at the time of the requests.
Correcting the witness’ assumption over unavailability of such information with the CBSL, the Commission confirmed that the requested secondary market transactions information was available with the CBSL at the time requests were made by COPE.
When cross examined, Dr de Silva held that all committee members of the COPE agreed collectively to the recommendations stated in the report and only nine members including him had inserted few foot notes, which were the concerns of clarifications regarding few suggestions of the report, but not disagreed to the context of COPE report.
When questioned by the Commission, it was explained that the COPE report was largely relied on Auditor General’s report despite there were some new documents called and shared with Auditor General by the Committee.
Dr Harsha de Silva was a member of the COPE committee of the 8th Parliament, which scrutinized the Controversial bond issuances, took place on February 2015 and March 2016.
Nihal Fernando PC who appeared for the Perpetual Treasuries Ltd and Counsel Shanaka de Silva who was appearing on behalf of former Governor Arjun Mahendran had cross examined the witness.
The Commission comprised with Supreme Court Judges Kankanithanthri T. Chitrasiri, Prasanna Sujeewa Jayawardena and former Deputy Auditor General Kandasamy Velupillai will resume the inquiry today. (Shehan Chamika Silva)