Cabinet spokesman and Minister. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said Arjuna Mahendran would be arrested by the Interpol from wherever he was hiding and handed over to the Sri Lankan Police no sooner than later.
Dr. Snaratne added that no one knew his whereabouts but he would not be able to play this hide and seek game for too long.
However, he said he sometimes felt whether only the ‘Yahapalana Government’ was concerned about judicial independence when the media questions on how former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa continued to get bail without arrest despite the FCID filing charges against him under the provisions of the Public Property Act.
Addressing the media at the weekly cabinet news briefing, Minister Senaratne said the media must think whether any other average citizen had this luxury.
The question and answer session that ensued at the news briefing is as follows.
The entire country expects quick legal action against the suspects of the Central Bank Bond Scam. Now that the ‘Judicature Amendment Bill’ that paves the way for setting up of Special ‘Trials at Bar’ for speedier administration of justice, could we expect the bond scam be referred to one of these special High Courts as the first case for trial?
This has to be decided by the Hon. Chief Justice after high profile cases were referred to him by the AG.
You get a lot of flak from many quarters for not taking action against wrong doers of the previous government. Don’t you want to punish them?
It was me and a few other Ministers with a backbone who questioned President Mahinda Rajapaksa face to face on various crimes committed under him.
Where is the delay?
Minister Senaratne: You decide yourself as to how and why those who had properties in Gampaha, Matara, Kduwela and many other places worth millions of rupees got off the hook from the law and finally their properties were forfeited.
A lady journalist from a private TV station: When do you arrest the first accused of the bond scam Arjuna Mahendran?
Minister Senaratne: Pretty soon.
Journalist: Why this delay to arrest him;
Minister Senaratne: (in a raised tone)
Why do you ask only about the arrest of Arjuna Mahendran. Why do you never ask the delay running to several months to arrest Udayanga Weeratunga who is involved in fraudulent MIG deal and caused losses millions of dollars to the government? Why you have never asked about the Jaliya Wickramasuiriya who fled the country and evade arrest for months? The losses incurred to the government from the bond scam is only Rs. 10 billion and the government has suspended accounts of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. worth over Rs. 11 billion, much less than the losses from MIG deal.
Why don’t you ever ask about the allegations leveled against nearly 30 Rajapaksa family members and their acolytes? You have never asked me about private TV station CSN owned by Yoshitha.
Journalist: What is progress that has been made to arrest Arjuna Mahendran by the government?
The government has done all it could do to arrest him and bring him back. It is up to the Sri Lanka Police, the Interpol and the country where he is in hiding. If and when he was arrested in a foreign country, we must have an Extradition treaty to bring him back to Sri Lanka. If not we have to seek other legal avenues to bring him here. It takes time because Interpol is in France, not in SRI Lanka.
Is there a move to taken over Samurdhi Banks under the Central Bank?
Yes. It is necessary because all commercial banks must come under the scrutiny of the government.
But you can initiate an inquiry under the ‘Money Laundering Act’ if Samurdhi Banks have committed any financial irregularities.
If so, all other banls also can be scruitinized under the provisions of the MLA. Thousands of Samurdhi Banks established to assist poor to stand on their own feet cannot be run in the manner that Danduwam Mudalalai or Sakwithi did their transactions. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
You lot trying to make it hide and seek to fool the masses... go and ask your boss (his Royal mate) of his whereabouts....
Dillan Friday, 11 May 2018 10:36 AM
You can't catch thives in srilanka. You are going to get h in abroad. Joke of the yearIf you can't rule the country. Give it to Ex LTTE .They will do better
SL Friday, 11 May 2018 07:12 PM
Ex LTTE my ft. Give it to Gota, he is the one who captured and brought KP to SL.
JIM Friday, 11 May 2018 11:04 AM
Don't you ever shut up, we are really tired of your bull.
Warren Raed Friday, 11 May 2018 11:38 AM
Sir, your government is only full of words and no action. I can run this country better than you.
Sam Friday, 11 May 2018 12:32 PM
I agree, in all seriousness we would be better off with the board of some successful company like John keells running the country
J A Nihal Peiris Friday, 11 May 2018 12:25 PM
To arrest ARJUNA Mah endran issueing Red Warrant by our government to Interpol is not activating fullest Cooperration as it's our polical problem
Brainmaster Friday, 11 May 2018 12:51 PM
As long as he remains in Singapore he is safe . It is clear that Singapore will not arrest or extradit him because he is a citizen. via DM Android App
Sambo Friday, 11 May 2018 04:27 PM
He will hide long enough to catch you. Your barking words is not effective anymore.
Upul Friday, 11 May 2018 05:10 PM
How many of your predictions so far has come true? Stop your BS statements at least now.
Mandayan Friday, 11 May 2018 05:58 PM
Yes, you bring him down in the way you did on Udayanga.
Roger Emmanuel Saturday, 12 May 2018 01:22 PM
Running behind Mahendran just a game to hoodwink the public. The problem was created by the PM in appointing his friend as Governor contary to procedure. Now it is like ;three blind mice ' running after farmers' wife. Just another show ot a crooked PM and his band of cohorts.
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.