23 January, 2018

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Bond Scam & Political Responsibility

By Rusiripala Tennakoon

Rusiripala Tennakoon

Sri Lanka badly needs at-least a Ministerial Code if not a code of conduct for all our Parliamentarians. Innocent citizens are unaware of what their elected representatives should practice as reasonable good ethical practices on their behalf. Politicians in our country are undivided when it comes to increasing of their perks – be it salaries or other benefits including pension privileges. But rather lethargic and indecisive when it comes to declarations involving policy and responsibilities. What we see as ‘happenings’ under good democratic governance elsewhere continue to remain as unfulfilled dreams. It is a pity such a situation prevails even under a so called good governance regime! All the more unpalatable after nearly seventy years of being masters of our own destiny.

Breaking news of the Panama leaks shook the whole world in April 2016. Focus was centered on several leading political figures in addition to giants in the corporate field. We witnessed the response of many in public life immediately following this information leak.

In order to complete the record a few names are mentioned below;

On 5th April 2016, ICELAND’s Prime Minister Sigmundur resigned his post when his name appeared,

Ukrainian Prime Minister resigned on 10th April, Industrial Minister of Spain relinquished his duties on 15th April.

Besides the political figures there were several others who resigned on moral grounds such as, Bert Meerstadt, ABN Amro Bank Board Member and FIFA ethics committee member JOHN,  and the President of Transparency International Chile,

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe was forced to resign after impeachment on corruption and mismanagement were threatened,

Theresa May fired  the one time  first secretary of State  and her  minister for the Cabinet Office Damian Green over a PORN cover up incident.

Michael Fallon Britain’s Defence Secretary was forced to quit on accusations of sexual harassment leveled against him;

Priti Patel, another cabinet minister of Theresa May’s government was removed for holding unofficial meetings with Israeli government officials during a private holiday.

These are some of the recent actions to uphold democracy and good governance while history records other similar events such as, sudden resignation of Lebanon PM; Richard Nixon, US President who had to quit due to the Watergate scandal and the Japanese PM who resigned a few months after his election to power due to his failure to honour election promises.

Alas!, a pity what we experience today here in our country. Governors of Central Banks refused reappointments are made Prime Ministerial advisers. Ministers virtually sacked for unethical conduct are leading political campaigns with the party leaders and enjoy highly prestigious political patronage! They appear in public platforms too and criticize the performance of high profile officials in extremely vulnerable positions that account for the good image of the country such as Auditor generals’, Attorney Generals ‘   etc. etc. Then we have Ministers who when accused of corrupt deals with facts and figures come out and publicly declare they have huge bank balances and therefore no need for them to rob ! Who cares what they have, the people only want to safeguard public money being misused, wasted and robbed.

We are also witnessing strange interpretations which appear to vivify the morale of degraded comrades by some ministerial characters. Most recent is the statement made by a cabinet minister about the Prime Ministers’ responsibility in the Central bank bond scam. While no one is interested in pinning any responsibility to any one, there are several issues that demand scrutiny and clarification due to facts revealed in the public domain on related matters, in the overriding national Interest. The following issues require specific answers rather than conciliatory whitewashings.

1. Are the following actions viewed in retrospect justified?

  • The statement made by the PM in parliament on 17th March 2015, where he maintained that  CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran has not committed any wrong !
  • The selection of Mahendran as a suitable person to hold the position of the  Chairman of the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka,

a) While being a non-citizen of Sri Lanka who is not able to take the national oath of allegiance and loyalty.

b) With no proven acceptability for such a high post evaluated at a proper forum,

c) With no proven record of an unblemished previous background

d) Being a person connected/related to persons having dealings with the CBSL with a potential for future conflicts of interest and  insider dealings or access to sensitive information,

  • The contradictions yet to be clarified, about the additional excess amounts of funds made out as required immediately one day before the questionable bond auction of 27th February. Ravi Karunanayake under oath has stated a different amount and the former governor another amount while two cabinet ministers have stated yet a different position. What the PM stated in Parliament as the amount has not been corroborated by other evidence.
  • The failure of the PM as the minister in charge of the CBSL to take adequate preventive measures after the 1st Bond scam was reported;

(I) Not sending Arjuna Mahendran at least on compulsory leave to facilitate the ongoing enquiries free of intervention /obstruction

(II) Not monitoring whether the son in law had divested himself of his interests in the primary dealer company licensed by the CBSL

(III) Failure to monitor whether similar events will be repeated as shown in the bond transactions of 29th march and 31st march 2016 in particular amidst the commotion already created.

(IV) Failure to obtain a report on the implementation mechanism and the  resulting consequences of the directive given by him personally to the Governor to change the bond auction system

  • As the person who recommended Arjuna Mahendran for this post will the PM take the responsibility for ensuring his presence in Sri Lanka for any future legal proceedings that may be required in pursuing the recommendations of the Bond Commission
  • The huge loss that is caused is the result of Mahendran following the directive given by the PM to change the Auction system. Mahendran has acted negligently in not getting due approvals of the monetary board before implementing this directive. Who should take or share this responsibility?
  • Should the PM take the responsibility for the huge losses made to the EPF and other captive funds as determined by the Commission as some of these funds were allocated to his ministry. (for the first time in the history of those funds)
  • Should the Prime Minister take the responsibility for the state of affairs at the CBSL and the EPF since they were specially taken over to be under his ministry changing a long existing system and practice?
  • The efforts made  and the reported insistence by the PM to re- appoint Arjuna Mahendran as the central bank Governor after 2 Cope inquiries and one 3 man committee of inquiry revealed various questionable acts by him in his performance as the Governor

No doubt this is a serious matter. It leads to several consequences.

(I) The international image on

a) The financial management and monetary policy of the country

b) The prospects of foreign investment and investor confidence

c) The wrong message to donor agencies

d) The global outlook on the democratic functioning and good governance

(II) The political landscape of the country,

a) What is the message we are giving to the youth and future generations

b) How do we make people believe that we are respecting democracy and good governance

c) Will the people have any faith in the good governance promises given to them

d) Will it reflect as a correct action in trying to change into a Westminster Style of Govt.?

Whether the passing of the buck and the running away from the responsibility cause a severe damage to the good name of the UNP a long standing leading Democratic Party in the country is a matter that has to be viewed by the Party members seriously. Honorable acceptance of a responsibility for the lapses, negligence, unsavory decisions, and the huge losses caused to the country will help the world to get a message that ours is a clean country and people are respectable enough to accept responsibilities and so on. Even for the UNP it will be a relief to say that the party is now clean. After all new leaders have to emerge in critical moments. No party or country will sink by changing to a good leader but it may happen if the leadership is wrong.

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Latest comments

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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    Rusiri Aiya how come you are silent on the Grama sevaka aiyas 24billion warship fraud along with channel head seerasa boys and other spectrum deals.

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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      IT is Pathetic that Hamil Ranasinghe like idiots exists. forget parties What ever it is a country’s prime minister, former finance minister, Central Bank governor are caught as thieves. At this point country is bankrupt. they have borrowed billions from every way possible but nothing to show. there is extra money circulating because of money printing that contributes to high inflation. they can remove that from the country via banks and can use that money or can get loans from people. Instead they want to borrow another $ 5 millions or billions next year. foreigners can dumb all those bonds at once and can bankrupt the country. Because of the last bond scandle the lost per year is Rs one TRILLION.(that is direct loss plus repercussions in other places, domino effect)

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    Mugabe and Ranil Wickremasinghe are two sides of a coin comparing them is absolutely funny. Pala is all out to destroy UNP winning the local government electtions.

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    Mr. Rusiripala: Among many very valid facts and questions raised, you mentioned: ” A huge loss made to the EPF”. I remember a case filed in Supreme Courts relating to a loss suffered by the EPF and a decision was delivered dismissing the claim stating that when investing funds, the investor has to take both the risk of loss as well as gains. I had the opportunity to refresh my memory, when Mr. Wasantha Samarasinghe, the Chairman of the Organization Against Corruption formed under JVP umbrella, participating in a TV debate stated that the case was filed by them and dismissed on the same reasons I stated above. In view of this “Courts Ruling”, will there be any “Success” in a future legal proceeding claiming to “RECOVER” the loss made to EPF? Perhaps this loss to EPF in relation to the “Bond Robbery” could have happened in a different manner that could be canvassed on a different basis. You being an ex Chairman of BC and a person involved in taking great pain to expose this huge “Robbery”, could tell us more of the “Recovery” of loss to EPF connected with the “BOND”.

    You also raised very valid QUESTIONS relating to “Accountability”? In my opinion, that decision on “Accountability” and “Restitution” process will go beyond our life time. All the PLAYERS of this “GAME” know that and will be happy to let us DEBATE it . The only SOLUTION for that process to be made “IMMEDIATE” is to bring in a COMPLETE CHANGE of Government and Governing. What’s in your mind?

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    Dougie
    Complete change of government.
    Are you living in the 19th century. You want to replace the current set with wasantha samarasinghe, rusiripala, faraz shaukataly, and killi mahendran

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    Tyronne Petersz: Thank you. Yes, go back to 19th century and retrace the way this country was Governed and by what sort of people. Have a NICE DAY in the 19th century.

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      Mr Rusiripala .. the country has already sunk to the very bottom and there is nowhere further it could sink more. It now needs a people’s revolution to throwout the extant political mafia gangs overboard to start fresh; I am ever hoping that a man with a vision and courage would emerge from the army to sweep out or shoot the mafia gangs and give the country a new life.

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    There is an immediate task on our President Srisena to appoint another or the same commission to investigate all the corruption allegations since 2005 as a starting point. In 2005, it is alleged that large sums of money was given to LTTE by Mahinda Rajapakse and from the period he became President there were number corruption allegations, allegations of misuse of power, allegations of war crimes, human right violations, abductions, murders, allegations of bribe, under world activities and so on. Almost all of our parliamentarians, particularly ruling party associated (Since 2005 until now) parliamentarians were part and partial of these allegations. It is true most of the civil servants were also involved with these allegations but they are partly because of the power forced upon them by politicians. Even the chief justices were forced to change their verdict.
    The question is: Is it possible??? Is anyone capable to face this challenge? Can the current President himself come forward to do that? Our justice system is capable to do this job?

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    Rusiripala Tennekoon ~ “President Mugabe was forced to resign after corruption and mismanagement charges were threatened”
    There is more to it than that.
    .
    Mugabe fooled the whole world into believing that he was a patriot etc etc etc. He was only interested in his suits. In due course he thought that he owned Zimbabwe. To this end he took on Emmerson Mnangagwa as his hatchet man. He entrusted the army into Emmerson’s hand who organised the liquidation of dissenters. Emmerson thought that he was the chosen successor. Enter a young Grace. Old Mugabe fell for her and chose her to succeed him. Emmerson organised the coup and edged out Mugabe. The corrupt structure, kidnap, disappearances are back.
    .
    In SL, the armed services and police are NOT loyal to GoSL. The puppeteer will make the move when the time is ripe!

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      Thank you Mr.Pillai
      You r spot on
      I only gave a gist to save space
      Well the point is many such things are happening elsewhere
      We have a Long wait
      unfortunately what we see is the pick pockets running along with the people to catch the culprit shouting catch him !catch him !

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    Google and see. American govt is strict on fraud. Senators had been prosecuted for mail fraud. among all these Sri lanka had increased Politicians STAMP Allowance from Rs 175,000 to Rs 350,000. Why don’t they instead, give them free mail, What about their Face book and Twitter accounts and their web pages. Itis corruption is legalized. Kiriella comes and UNP doe snot have anything to hide. Then Why PM, the PARTY LEADER was clarifying things instead answering questions. Why none stepped down in order to facilitate the investigation instead they are still in their positions. Even Arjun Mahendran and PAskralingam were continuing to work. IT says, It is Paskaralingam (a known thief during R Pemadasa times) paskaralingam who gave the instruction to Bond Scam Ranil to ask Banks to lose in the bond sale.PResident Maithripala Sirisena is also openly corrupt. IT is stupid to ask Mahinda Rajapakse neck when even the Yahapalanaya is doing the same. Just before LG election, Mahinda Assigned Rs 2.5 billion to Fertilixer, Brought Fertilsier 40,000 tons in a hurry (most probably extra expenses). He also ordered water bowsers long ago. Now only he is delivering those. HE is silent on many corruption reports. Even the talk is not related to the final report. WHY PEOPLE SHOULD TOLERATE THIS LONG. ONE WAY IS A MASSIVE REJECTION VOTE.

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    The simple Question is If RaNIL is honest and did not have to say anything why did he tried his best to cover it up since 2015. Why he chose to clarify instead of answering the investigating questions. Why he appointed a minister one who could write a book to cover it up. He used govt money to cover his frauds. In a decent society, he would in the jail for decades.

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    You, at the beginning of your article asking a ministerial code is like you are not reading sri lankan news. It is at the beginning of the 100 day govt or just before that election there ws the talk about having a some disciplinary code for MPs. They get codes news media, now even for web media. Yet, that MP/Minister disciplinary code is non existing. I say, even the president needs a code. Journalsits are chicken mostly because of the media ownership by companies. Journalsts do not talk unless the editor allows it.

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    Why not choose JVP
    Why not choose a honest party ?
    How can trust these people.
    How long you trust them?
    Vote JVP and get a.corupt free country

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      Singhalese pundit

      Go answer all my previous question regarding JVP then we consider answering yours.

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    “UNP a long standing leading Democratic Party in the country”

    Not after 1977!

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      Eagle Eye

      “UNP a long standing leading Democratic Party in the country.

      Not after 1977!”

      Not even in 1948.

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    Ajith….Why 2005 ????
    vast amount of arms too was delivered to the LTTE during Premadasa regime.
    Also … delivered to the LTTE were Mullaitivu Camp, Elephantpass Camp, Mannar camp with Human lives and loads of weapons to name a few.
    Why not Investigate these as well ?????

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    thondassmannay

    Whats your problem.
    Stop talking and start charging all those who directly or indirectly instigating or involved in all forms of violence against innocent people including saffron clad bigots, uniformed murderers, …………….. from 1956.

    Are you a saffron clad thug or a supporter of them? How much did you benefit from 1956, 1977, 1983 riots and during the 30 years of war. Did you sell any banned articles to LTTE, for example AK47, T56, motor vehicles, medicines, batteries, ………………. ?

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    Dear Rusiripala Tennakoon, and all Participants,
    If you all know the recent history of Sri Lanka after Independence, there is not much of a disappointment for Sri Lankans from the Bond scam. Have you ever seen any responsible Top Executive or a top Politician behaving with dignity? In the last 70 years or so You can say only the late W. Dahanayake was the only greed free and corrupt free executive. He really worked selflessly for the Country. Has there been any PM or President show any responsibility for all the violence committed on Tamils repeatedly. As far as racial violence are concerned all top executives developed a hardened impunity. Most majority of people enjoyed these racial violence like a game and what is the good Government do to stop racism and suppression of Tamils? Are they not showing impunity allowing a lot of bad happen in the North and East even now? Except for one rape and murder case done in Jaffna courts, how many criminals are allowed free even to make decisions for the people and how many innocent lives are behind bars, and tortured or killed? They still think the rest of the world is deaf and blind. This cultivated impunity and orthodox rule will not change easily as you expect. Power is blind for Sri Lankan leaders.

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    There was no insider dealing. There was no decision to increase the amount to 10 Billion until Aloysius showed them he can raise beyond 11 billion. Then, it was internal decision to take 10 Billion. Neither Tamil Mahendran nor Tamil Aloysius were responsible for CB having decided to take 10 Billion. Aloysius should demand CB to return all the money so that he can pay back to his lenders and reverse all transactions.

    There was no reason why Aloysius has to resign from PT and disinvest his share from PT. This was a game played by Sinhalese threatening him of suing if he is not leaving PT, only after they saw dislodging him from the PT was made easy by the notorious, racist Colombo Media. They wanted him to leave PT so that they can capture his company. This is how Colombo Apollo Hospital was captured by Old Brother Prince. It is a pogrom staged within CB to oust Tamils and loot their Business.

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    Aloysius resigning would not necessarily eliminate real Insider dealing. Under normal circumstances, he resigning from PT is not good as all the main employees might have come with his consent and would be acting with his advice. On the other side, he would be having the access to privileged information from CB. If a company is owned by CBG’s Son-In-Law, the appropriate procedure is CB to disqualify the PT from quoting for any tenders. It was not done in that way because PT was involved in running the CB and raising funds for in the hardest time of CB’s history. It was the PM’s intentions to have involved PT, Mahendran and Aloysius this way all along. Neither PM, now, who claims that he had nothing to with CB daily operation, nor the Appe Aanduwa had any authority to demand the CEO of a Company to leave and hand over the shares for them. If Ranil really had told him to resign from his company, Aloysius should explore the possibilities to sue Ranil for the divestment losses.
    [Edited out]

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    Being guided by your own thinking were you ever interviewed by an emminent panel of bankers or as a Peoples Bank clerk did you have a proven track record when Finance minister Felix Dias Bandaranayake appointed you as chairman of Bank of Ceylon. I believe on the basis you suggest you should not have accepted the post adorned by personalities such as PC H V Perera , Nissaka Wijewardena A S Jayawardena. Rajan Asirwartham Our problem is people don’t practice what they preach.

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    The writer has listed moral and ethic of felicitated Democratic society to be an honor and accepts by Political Classes, Parties common ground by Sri Lankan;
    and their leaders of current UNP top policy body making are that totally denied and rejects that. By write mentions rules and norms that exuberant by democracy are an unaccpects to the ongoing governance of Ranil Wicks and his comrades in arms in helm in State power since 2015 January 8th.

    They (UNP-Ranil and clique) do not care too hoots claim by right thinking citizens of majority of votes of Island. They (UNP Ranil) talk “democracy” but act different methodology which extricate of face-saving politics.
    1 Why are they are so arrogant ? 2 What is the power behind them?
    3 How they interpreted and understand norms of Democratic rules of governing order of the country ?

    This is New political dilemma and policies has arise to be discussed by democratic loving people of Sri Lankan and as well as other democratic nations through-out the Globe!
    Is that system of world rules by order of the democracy by bourgeoisies has failure to delivered amicable solution for to find -out that an aspiration of People of the Globe?
    The case in Sri Lankan current of rules and norms democracy verses People vital interest having vast gap.

    While UNP-politics and by the “Rainbow Revolution” in 2015 January 8th were unable address fundamental solution for democratic society .

    Nevertheless by leadership of UNP Ranil Wicka (Old UNP) MS of ( New UNP) and CBK of feudal Federalist separatism of current SLFP political has No way of path finding access to Democracy !

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