18 September, 2020

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COPE Report On Bond Scam: An Appeal To The Speaker & Members Of Parliament

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

Please reflect for a moment on the Oath of Office you took in entering Parliament as a member. You swore to uphold the Constitution of Sri Lanka on that occasion. You are aware that by article 3 of the Constitution, the sovereignty is vested in the People and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise.

You are thus duty bound as persons elected by the exercise of the people’s franchise, to function as members of Parliament and safeguard the inalienable sovereignty of the people; govern safeguarding the primary interests of the nation and its people; and safeguard the fundamental rights of the people. This is a supplemented by the social Contract you have entered in to with the people upon your election.

In terms of the aforesaid Social Contract, this appeal humbly requests you to, take a few minutes to reflect and question your conscience ( ie. your moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behaviour) before you review, debate and adopt or reject the Report ( or Reports) of the Committee on Public Enterprise on the purported Bond Scams of 2015 and 2016;

1. What is your role as a Member of Parliament?; and what are your responsibilities and accountabilities under the Constitution and the Oath of Office?; and what do you believe to be the public expectations of you, which you should diligently respect in the review, debate and adoption /rejection of the COPE report?; and should this role be consistent with the aforesaid Social Contract

2. What level of independence, personal intellectual capability and judgment should you bring in to the review and deliberations of the COPE Report(s) on the Bond Scams?

3. Are you bound by the directions of the party whip, the party and its leader’s directions and desires, even if they conflict with your conscience? Or should you exercise your rights as a member of parliament bound by your conscience and the social contract with your voters?

4. Should you accept that your role in the review of the COPE Report(s) is not equal to that of the role of a judge or a quasi judicial person, hearing a case? Should you accept that you are merely reviewing facts as presented? and should thus be making an independent and sound judgment based on your determination of the real issues?

5. In reviewing the accompanying Report of the Auditor General should you not, ignore non material errors of computation, non material erroneously stated principles and the estimated value of the purported loss to the state and make your judgment based on a 360 degree overview of the facts taken together?

6. In the above referred to overview of independent facts based determination should you not assess;

a) Whether there is prima facie evidence of a possible loss to the State of significant value?

b) Whether there is prima facie evidence of a possible significant loss to the members of the EPF / ETF and Insurance Corporation?

c) Whether there is a likelihood of insider information, insider dealings or related party transactions having tainted the processes adopted tender awards by the Central Bank?

d) Whether there is likelihood of a possible collusion of state officials (eg. Central Bank, State Banks and EPF) with any of the Primary Dealers and others, and attempting to engage in a financial fraud or crime of significant value using the auction process?

e) Whether any state officials knowing that a loss to the state may occur in the process allowed these operations to proceed, or they assisted in executing such operations or they failed to take action to prevent any such frauds and losses from happening, and thus complicit in an act of corruption chargeable under Section 70 of the Bribery Act?

d) Whether the Governor of the Central Bank, Monetary Board, Officials of the Central Bank and Officials of the EPF appears to have failed in their duty, accountability, responsibility and

  • requirement to exercise due care and diligence
  • in the performance of their assigned tasks with integrity and professionalism?
  • to keep the Monetary Board informed and failed in obtaining approval at each relevant stage?
  • to look for alternative options in auction systems management and its award and thus prevent or minimize the loss to the state and the members of the EPF?
  • to exercise due transparency where such transparency could have prevented the purported losses?
  • in taking pro-active change management initiatives since the first reported scam of 2015 and if so complicit in allowing the continuation of losses and leakages and tender awards which are tainted by insider information and conflicts of interests?
  • Ignoring submissions made from time to time by the Superintendent of Public Debt commencing from the tainted bond issue of February 2015?
  • Ignoring submissions made from time to time by other Official and Senior Staff Members commencing from the tainted bond issue of February 2015?
  • Not taking pro-active response action on the purported report of the on-site inspection team of the Central Bank?

7. Based on your determinations as per 5 above and your commitments in terms of the Social Contract, whether you should advocate that a properly constituted judicial body or a law enforcement authority should be called in to investigate and take appropriate action on the purported scams?

8. Should you in addition evaluate;

  • What should have been the expected role of member of COPE in regard to the Bond Scam review? and have they discharged their social contract to the voters and citizens as members of COPE?
  • What do you believe should have been the end objective of the COPE Report on the Bond Scam?
  • Whether the COPE as presently constituted and structured with its decision making drivers is the best form in determining the truth, ensuring rule of law and justice and ensuring long term best interests of good governance?
  • Will the outcomes of the COPE report undermine and permanently damage the future role, independence,  professionalism and regulatory /operational effectiveness and national economic value addition, of the Office of the Auditor General and the Central Bank
  • Will  the outcomes of the COPE report undermine the process of investigations in to the current and past acts of corruption, fraud and willful / arrogantly excessive unacceptable actions of top tier management and decision makers in Central Bank, EPF, Insurance Corporation/ETF/NSB, State Banks etc
  • Will the outcomes of the COPE report let those who unjustly enriched themselves, whilst causing losses to the state and people, go free whilst the courageous, professional and law abiding officials and whistle blowers will be penalized?
  • How will the outcomes of the COPE Report impact on the Government, the Opposition and Governance in the medium to long term?

9. What processes in addition to those included in the COPE Report should you recommend to ensure that

  • Ensure that persons of integrity, independence, capability and commitment to good governance with no conflicts of interests and related party interests are appointed to the Central Bank as the Governor, Monetary Board and its top management, EPF,
  • Transparent market based bond auction systems that minimize the costs of the state and yield fair market returns to the EPF and other long term investors are in place, with processes that effectively control conflicts of interests, insider dealings and related party transactions as well as monopoly/oligopoly based market responses
  • Recover any under recovery of income tax, financial VAT and Deemed dividend taxes from Primary dealers

Related posts:

Exclusive: Bond Scam; Full Text Of Interim Report Of COPE Inquiry – DEW Report 

Exclusive: COPE Says Arjuna Mahendran Is GUILTY In Bond Scam – Handuneththi Report 

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Latest comments

  • 4
    4

    Mr. Chandra Jayaratne: You are playing a very meaningful violin concerto to a “DEAF” and “BLIND” Elephant. Did you hear the full “Orchestra” playing to the directions of its “Reputed Conductor, Maestro” Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe? They are now “practising” in the COPE Committee Room and will be on the Public Stage shortly. Let us see what the “Stage Director” would do. Then we will see where your “Humble Appeal” will be; in the “Garbage Can”, in the “Incinerator” OR on the “Podium Stand”.

    • 8
      0

      Unfortunately only the two Arjun’s – Mahendran and Aloysius in the spotlight.

      How come the following are not questioned ?

      1 CBSL public debt department
      2 EPF officials for purchases in the secondary market?
      3 BoC officials for giving a blank cheque
      4 Pan Asia Bank for routing the transactions
      5 Monetary Board members
      6 CBSL senior staff including a deputy governor who were aware of these transactions and did not take any action

      • 2
        0

        Very good! This is what the COPE should look into. We have the CID, FCID and Bribery Commission to determine who should be charged as culprits.

      • 1
        3

        Ruwan – It is because they are not Tamils

  • 5
    2

    What is the point of appealing to a lot of rogues? They are all the same, just a difference in degree, except probably a few countable in one hand.

    • 7
      1

      Thrishu, Absolutely right, you are.

      This springs to mind an incident which happened in a London train while a rich and famous person was travelling in. The lady by the side was offered some 10,000/= pounds and asked by the guy, whether you will sleep with me for one night. The lady thought for a moment and the conversation continued and the lady finally agreed. After which, the rich guy kept on reducing the amount from 10,000/= to 1000/= and eventually to 100/=.

      The lady got agitated and asked the guy, whether you think I am a bloody whore? Pat, came the answer from the guy, I ESTABLISHED THAT LONG TIME AGO AND WAS ONLY DETERMINING THE DEGREE.

      Similarly, we are all in the process of determining the degree of corruption under Yahapalanaya, ALL BLOODY CORRUPT CROOKS.

  • 8
    1

    Mr. Jayaratne.

    Will you please clearly state what these facts are that require the attention of COPE and why if these facts are clear and sufficient grounds for criminal prosecution the attorney general has not proceeded in this matter?

  • 7
    2

    This is a pivotal point for all these politicians to regain credibility in the eyes of both Sri Lankans and the world. If they fail to do so, I doubt whether any foreign investors will have the confidence to invest in the Sri Lankan economy.

    Ranil and the UNP: don’t be stupid!!!! Punish the wrong doers and regain the moral high ground. Don’t let Mahinda gain it.

  • 9
    3

    I am sorry to have to go through this but Mr Jayaratne has yet to enter pre-school, so he has to be reminded of the procedures and reality, and the facts that have so far come to light and to COPE.

    I am sure the readers know that COPE is merely a collection of MPs of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and in this case tasked with investigating if a crime took place on the so-called BOND SCAM. So what they report is their opinion that is merely a political viewpoint, whether you are JVP, UNP, SLFP, TNA or JO!

    So please don’t have high expectations, even though they have sworn the take an oath they really don’t understand what that means, due to their level of education. Example being taking duty free vehicles, let alone selling them for a profit, that go completely against the SPIRIT of the Oath!

    What they recommend is their opinion. It is up to the Attorney General who knows what can be done within the Law of Sri Lanka to determine under which section of the penal code a prosecution can be made IF FORCED to as in this case.

    A criminal prosecution is what the General Public are screaming for, despite the lack of convictable evidence, the AG will probably use a Public Property line where there is a NON-bailable charge and arrest (remember it is still a Kangaroo Court when you do not have evidence and politics determines arrest) and bring before a Magistrate’s Court, and will be remanded for say 2 weeks!

    Here you cannot just arrest the Directors of Perpetual, you have to have complicity, this is ONLY one side of a transaction. You have to arrest the former Governor,(you will not find any evidence of him financially benefiting) or a senior Member of the Central Bank who has leaked this information(You can find evidence of financial benefiting). Then all hell will break loose because the TRUTH will finally come out. It is the Central Bank STUPID who is wholly to blame for making an ass of themselves, by allowing a company to bid on Bonds THEY OFFERED at a high rate of interest.( All along you have found the bidder guilty, not the auctioneer! How Come?)

    Remember all this is done openly, and the facts are all there for all to see, with plenty of witnesses. It is the “law of the jungle” of the PUBLIC that is leading to this Kangaroo situation, and clear distraction from the real corruption that takes place each and every day. Think of the corrupt people, who must be laughing all the way to the Bank seeing this charade, that the Public have now sadly INFLICTED on themselves to feel good.

    It is then for the AG to search for the evidence that is admissible in a Court, and you can be sure he will ONLY do so if he can find sufficient incontrovertible evidence. That is NOT the circumstantial likelihood that JO Public is implying took place!

    Eventually the case will be dropped for lack of evidence, unless someone can actually prove beyond reasonable doubt that insider trading occurred.

    Then Perpetual and its directors will sue the AG’s office, Central Bank and the Media for about Rs10B for false imprisonment and defamation of character, because of the trumped up charges the poor AG is forced to make, despite his better judgement, due to the BAYING OF THE CRETINOUS GENERAL PUBLIC!

    If you are a reasonably intelligent person with a modicum of knowledge of the law, you will think about it, before coming to your own conclusion. You don’t have to believe a word I say, just rationalize the facts and make up your mind. This is NOT an emotional reaction, merely what can and cannot be done.

    PRESIDENT SIRISENA – You now understand I hope why the Bribery Commission or the FCID have not brought out a case on this issue. For lack of evidence! I don’t have to remind you of this today. Your legal advisers if they were worth anything should have told you that over a year ago, and we are still dragging this story when more urgent matters are left undone. FOR WHOSE CONVENIENCE!

  • 11
    4

    CHANDRA JAYARATNE,
    NO MATTER WHAT YOU WANTED RANIL’S HEAD AND NOW YOU HAVE GOT IT.
    MEDIA COOLIES WORKING OVERNIGHT TO CRUCIFY MAHENDRAN AND RANIL.

    • 3
      1

      Juliampitiya Amare hello when did you get bail!!
      Anyway Sirasa, Hiru, Derana are all working on a political agenda.

  • 1
    2

    In many countries, it is an independant panel who investigates these scandles. Here mostly politicians and in this particular case, a committee with large of UNP are fighting and arguing what report to release.

    Why do you need to cry and ask do the write thing. How much evidence, you need to be certain that it is a grand theft and they are trying to make people forget.

    The newest player is TNA now and they want the Tamil version of it. Remember, TNA is there in the COPE. Now only they want a Tamil version.

    YOu people refuse to accept the truth that UNP and SLFP are interchangeable and theives can not agree and they don’t know how to hide it.

    IF things are right, most of the Politicians in the UNP faction of Yahapalanaya including Prime minister should step down. that is when the law, justice and normal human decency works in the society.

    • 2
      1

      Jim Softy is right. TNA was in the COPE committee and why did they
      wait so long to ask for a translation copy of the report in Tamil.
      They could have asked from the Chairman for a translated copy before the report was released. Chairman also failed to make out a copy in Tamil as govt. business is done in both languages i.e. Sinhala & Tamil.

      Is this a delay tactics of TNA to help PM Ranil or their usual wake
      up late attitude on any issues. Any way Tamils are not interested in
      the well being of Mahendran & Aloysius but they are only interested
      in their own well being and they do not need a translated copy in
      Tamil.

  • 1
    1

    Jim Softy. Do you have a personal issue with TNA

    • 1
      1

      Julampitiya Amare Modayan:

      TNA are LTTE proxies. Even in the Opposition, they are not doing anything.

      • 0
        0

        TNA are LTTE proxies. Even in the Opposition, they are not doing anything.

        Yes Mr Jim The JO is doing everything according to an agenda and they are crying for family rule again

  • 0
    1

    The million Dollar question is why Chandra J was silent till Jan 2015 thru Greek Bonds and killings of many journalists and massive frauds. If this is politically driven it will loose value. It will be very difficult to prove any fraudulent activity in a court of law. Bonds were advertised. Primary dealers tendered. Treasury requirement was taken in, by way of the order of the amount tendered and prices quoted.. An enhanced amount was taken. There is precedence whereas in the past CBC enhanced or reduced amounts on tender and also sold bonds by way of private placements. That is CBCs right. The trader concerned sold it keeping a good margin. He has taken advantage of the ignorance of market participants. These are very simple trading practices. If there is a market for coconuts at Rs.60 who will sell at 55. Chandra J is a bit too late in his attempt to educate the speaker and parliamentarians as so many lives and frauds could have been minimized if he ventured 10 years back.

  • 0
    0

    Every thing depends on whether the rate of interest prevailed on that day is the right rate. Rates mostly depend on demand and supply and economic fundamentals. Who on earth could say that the rate on a particular day is the right rate not even the unseen unheard not photographed gods will be able to say that. Will the judges be able to do that. When we were students of economics studying exchange rates were told by the professor that the ” Notion of an equilibrium rate of exchange is a chimera” So are the rates of interest I believe. To arrive at any loss to the Govt. one must decide on a fair rate. Guided by what we have read in the papers various people have given amounts varying from Rs.580 million to 10 billion as the loss to the govt.. Difficult to fathom how by borrowing Rs.5 billion the govt. could loose Rs.10 billion. Being extreme if in courts lawyers argue and convince the judges that the rate 12.73% at which this transaction was done was very favorable to the govt. and that the rate should have been 13.73% it will be a huge gain for the govt.

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