Alleged Bond Scams
The alleged Treasury Bond scams under the ‘Yahapalanaya’ government are arguably one of the largest financial scams to have taken place in the post-independence history of Sri Lanka. For sheer impunity and involvement of a wide spectrum of politicians in collusion with a section of the corporate sector and regulatory authorities it is hard to beat. The muted response of the opposition exemplifies the rot in the governance of this country.
This article is written in the Public Interest from information available in the public domain. Both Rosy Senanayake and Dr. Harsha de Silva hold influential positions directly under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
While Ms. Senanayake is ‘Deputy Chief of Staff’ in the PM’s ‘core team’ at ‘Temple Trees’, Dr. de Silva is Deputy Minister, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs where the PM is the minister-in-charge.
Response to Journalist on ‘Footnotes’
“Minister do you at any point now regret the footnotes on that COPE report? Going by what is being revealed now, do you regret it or was there a lack of information at that point?”
Watch his response from (21:25:40) – what does it indicate?
Clarification from Dr. Harsha de Silva is awaited.
Clarification from both parties is in the Public Interest
Media reports of proceedings in the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the alleged Treasury Bond Scams have given prominent coverage to the clarification by Nuwan Salgado, Chief Dealer of Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) relating to the purported phone recording of a call originating in the UK on August 8, 2016 from Kasun Palisena CEO of PTL requesting Nuwan Salgado to obtain from ‘PTL owner’ Arjun Aloysius documents on his (Palisena) testimony given to COPE for onward transmission to former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. The recording has Palisena purportedly telling Salgado that Arjun Aloysius had received the documents from “Rosy’s son”.
The media has Salgado clarifying to the Commissioners under oath that:
i) “Rosy” referred to by Palisena is “Rosy Senanayake (Former member of D.E.W. Gunasekara’s COPE in the 7th Parliament)”
ii) “Rosy’s son” was identified as “Kanishka Senanayake”
(Ref. ‘Daily Mirror’ September 7, 2017)
Ms. Senanayake has strongly denied this allegation stating she was not a COPE member after the August 2015 parliamentary elections.
The question then arises as to what made PTL CEO Kasun Palisena in August 2016 to refer to Ms. Senanayake’s son in regard to COPE documents? Media reports do not enlighten the public whether the documents referred to were from the D.E.W.
Gunasekara-led COPE report prior to the August 2015 parliamentary elections when she was a member or from the Sunil Handunnetti- led COPE report after the August 2015 parliamentary elections when she was no longer a member.
If the reference was to the D.E.W. Gunasekara-led COPE report, Ms. Senanayake would presumably have a copy. This would not be so, if the reference was to the Sunil Handunnetti-led COPE report. In the public interest and in the interest of Rosy Senanayake herself should not the PCoI Commissioners and the media clarify the same?
Be that as it may, would not Ms.Senanayake in her capacity as ‘Deputy Chief of Staff’ in Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ‘core team’ have access to both COPE reports? The question arises whether this was the context in which Kasun Palisena made reference to “Rosy’s son”?
Clarification from Rosy Senanayake is awaited.
Dr. Harsha de Silva
Reference is made to the following excerpts from ‘The Sunday Times’ October 30, 2016 on the controversial ‘footnotes’ in the Sunil Handunetti-led COPE Report on the alleged Bond Scams signed by UNP members of COPE which included Dr. Harsha de Silva: (emphasis added)
“At no time before has the United National Party (UNP) used its might so strongly in Parliament to try and block what it perceived was a report not to its liking.
Handunetti revealed that the following 16 members accepted the report without the footnotes. Sunil Handunnetti (Chairman), Rauff Hakeem, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Lakshman Seneviratne, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Anura Dissanayake, Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Bimal Rathnayake, Weerakumara Dissanayake, S. Sritharan, Gnanamuthu Srinesan, M.A. Sumanthiran, Nalinda Jayathissa, Mavai S. Senathirajah – from the SLFP, JO, JVP, TNA and the SLMC.
Those who accepted it subject to the inclusion of the footnotes, he said, were: Ravindra Samaraweera, Wasantha Aluvihare, Harsha de Silva, Ajith P. Perera, Ashok Abeysinghe, Hector Appuhamy, Sujeewa Senasinghe, Harshana Rajakaruna and Abdullah Mahroof – all of the UNP.
As is clear, the thrust of these footnotes is to make clear that Mahendran has not been responsible of any impropriety.
The UNP is confident that it can, through the documentation Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva has received, prove its case that its man Arjuna Mahendran is not to blame.”