17 January, 2022

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Hell Bent On Safeguarding Arjuna Mahendran, UNP Scuttles COPE

Hell bent on safeguarding the billion rupees worth sins committed by ex-Governor of Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran, the tactful plan devised by the United National Party (UNP) has finally resulted in the scuttling of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) which was investigating the Treasury Bond scandal.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe

Accordingly, the COPE, which to date has always issued one report on various investigations will submit at least two reports, one signed by its chairman Sunil Handunneththi, while another signed by the UNP MPs in the COPE.

Incidentally, both reports will be contrasting, with Handunneththi’s report clearing implicating Mahendran in the bond scam, while the second report by the UNP MPs will exonerate the ex-Governor, who is alleged to have orchestrated the bond scam, which resulted in the country losing Rs. 1.6 billion rupees.

Handunneththi’s report has been endorsed by COPE members other than the UNP MPs in the COPE. 14 out of the 26 members of COPE had extended support of Handunneththi’s report.

In his report, Handunneththi had highlighted that there has been malpractices as well as irregularities of ‘very serious nature’ during the auctioning of treasury bonds during the tenure of Mahendran in 2015 and 2016. Handunneththi’s report also called for serious action against those responsible for the bond scam, while also highlighting the importance to establish a mechanism to ensure that the COPE recommendations are implemented.

Handunneththi has also recommended that an investigation be carried out against Perpetual Treasuries Limited, with links to Mahendran’s son in law, Arjun Aloysius, which recorded a staggering profit of Rs. 5.1 billion for the year ending March 2016. The company recorded an increase of 430% in profits in comparison to the previous year.

A highly placed political source pointed out that the main duty of COPE is to report to Parliament which is charged with managing the country’s public finances, the irregularities, malpractices, frauds, waste and corrupt practices in public corporations.

“COPE was created by Ronnie de Mel in early 1980s by carving out the functions relating to public corporations which had been handled by Committee on Public Accounts earlier renaming CPA as COPA. COPE’s specific duty is to report to Parliament which is charged with managing the country’s public finances, the irregularities, malpractices, frauds, waste and corrupt practices in public corporations. Hence it’s not expected to work on party lines which was done during Mahinda Rajapaksa administration. The new good governance government elected to power in January 2015 was expected to put a stop to that. Yet, it appears that it’s following the practices of the previous administration while blaming it for every ill in the country. COPE is the third and the fourth eye of the President who has no way for knowing everything that is happening in the public sector behind his back,” the source told the Colombo Telegraph.

In July this year, the Colombo Telegraph reported on the clandestine moves by the UNP to jeopardize the independence of COPE and thwart any attempts to take action against Mahendran. The UNP leadership ordered UNP MP M. Velu Kumar to resign from his position as a COPE member and make way for Sujeewa Senasinghe, who is the State Minister of International Trade, who was in charge of scuttling the COPE investigation.

In August, during a COPE meeting with officials of Central Bank, Senasinghe adopted an intimidating tone during the questioning of the officials of Central Bank, who had given evidence against Mahendran. Soon after the incident, Senasinghe was issued a warning by COPE Chairman Handunneththi and other senior members against adopting such an ‘unacceptable’ tone when questioning the officials. Senasinghe played the lead role in scuttling the work of COPE in the bond investigation, amidst persistent attempts by the UNP leadership to safeguard Mahendran. Mahendran is a close ally of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and it was Wickrmesinghe who appointed Mahendran to the position of Central Bank Governor following the change in administrations in January last year.

Despite his checkered history at the Central Bank, Wickremesinghe appointed Mahendran as Head of the Sri Lanka Five Year Development Plan, after Mahendran’s undignified exit as the 13th Governor of Central Bank.

Meanwhile, Handunneththi is scheduled to submit his report on the Central Bank Treasury Bond scam in Parliament on October 25th.

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Latest comments

  • 16
    30

    Mahendran is guilty and should be hanged. Cabraal is innocent and should take over the governer post at central bank

    This is the solution of the SLFP Morons.

    • 32
      10

      I sadly think you don’t comprehend the loss to the country due to the bond scam

      Even assuming Cabraal was as guilty.. eh.. weren’t we promised something quite the opposite under yahapalanaya???

      • 14
        3

        Even During Rajapakse tge COPE was independent and worked non partisan. Wijedasa resigned because his COPE report was so damning but no action was taken. when DEW was chair, people like Rajiva, true clean politicians were doing a good job

        • 8
          1

          Tell us the manner Rajiva did good jobs please ? I also had the feeling about the guy so, it was but at the begining. After he left the current men not being able to handle himself the ministry of education, I felt myself, he is no means suitable to lanken politics.
          I believe, he could better be a professor in English to lankan University. Some guys though with higher academic achievements would never fit politics in developing countries.
          Provable Example

          Number 01- GLP – Former minister of EA -now an another senior to be sheepish being caught by Rajaakshe kalliya

          Number 02 – Leftist – I dont know the man – there is one antoher senior profssor licking the back sides of Rajapkshes

          There may be few more I cant add them right at the moment.

          • 1
            0

            SAMA the problem is – our voters elect cream of uneducated , big mouth roughs, Kuddas, Kassippu karayas to the parliment as our leaders – from the day one the main motive of these of this rowdies is to protect their hard earn position and look for opportunities to earn as much as possible – to facilitates the robbing they appoint all their uneducated , uncultured supporters into their Ministry positions – if by chance n educated cultured person happened to be appointed into one of theses Ministry slots – he cannot survive very long – In the case of Dr Rajive – he is too educated and cultured to work with political vultures – he could have fathom it out in advance

      • 7
        1

        words
        I see so far three scam supporters respond to your comment but they are been outnumbered by 14 to 3.

        If by any miracle not that its going to happen in MS & RW utopia Mahendredn were to be found guilty he already have well used escape plan freely used by all other crooks from Sri Lanka. All he need a quack(plenty of them in Sri Lanka starting from ELiantha White)to write out a freely available medical and hop over to Singapore for treatment with the blessing of RW and stay over till things cools down.

      • 4
        0

        I sadly think you don’t comprehend sarcasm!

        Check out the comment again and apply ‘sarcastic’ and you may possibly “comprehend”.

        And speaking of “loss to the country”, how do you rate Cabraal and the Rajapakses?

        • 1
          0

          Two wrongs don’t make one right as a Linguist you should be on to it.

      • 12
        1

        Sujeewa Senasinghe, Ranil’s corrupt attack dog to save corrupt crook Mahendran at COPE sold his duty free SUV permit and should be forced to resign for corruption.

        Hope Sampanthan will be honest and voted against Ranil and Mahendran’s corruption in COPE.

        The UNP is sinking and stinking its filth – worst than Mahinda Jarapassa brothers, sons, in-laws and cronies.

        Long live Ranil-Sira- Mahinda Jarapalanaya in the Miracle of Modayas!

      • 6
        1

        Why is Sunil Handunetti and JVP so weak?

        As Chair of COPE he needs to be a LEADER and refuse to table the UNP fairy tale to exonerate Mahendran. Handunetti has said if every COPE leader gave a report he would table all of them?!

        What sort of bloody joke is this! What game is JVP playing?!

        It shows the total INCOMPETENCE of the JVP that they cannot take a stand on this and refuse the lies of the UNP

        After all, there is no precedent for 2 cope reports on the same matter.

        • 4
          1

          I agree with Don Stanley. Well spoken words. JVP is intelligent but weak.
          No guts. No back bone. Spineless. Sunil Handunetti is the Chairman of
          COPE and he must submit his only report to Parliament. Stand by it if you have a back bone. Otherwise, resign from COPE. If COPE is powerless, please bury COPY for good and let the MODAYA’s govern the country. These M.P.’s who are elected by the people will never ever learn in Sri Lanka.
          If he does not have guts JVP must resign from COPE. The President must take quick action. Otherwise he is a weak person too
          GOD Jesus Christ, please help our tiny nation, which is sinking.

        • 0
          0

          JVP – remember – do not try to play safe – by trying to submit all the junk reports – you are making yourself a back bone less idiot – Keep up to the image JVP is trying hard to build

    • 7
      1

      Hang Cabraal as well as the public conscience is that he is guilty of playing politics at the Bank. No need of investigation as in the case of Sarath Fonseka

    • 13
      1

      Dont try to confuse. Cabrall was a bad appointment.He played politics and demeaned the office he held.But Mahendran is a convicted fraud( now by the COPE ) RW with Mahendran and Aloysiuos swindled the country. Both are guilty. This is very sad chapter for the UNP. They are defending an undefendable Prime Minister , who is a traitor and a fraud.

    • 11
      0

      Seems very clear from this that it was not only Perpetual and Mahendran who made money out of this .. but the UNP too seems to have profited. Hence these tactics. We thought we voted for a better future didn’t we?

    • 0
      2

      Are you licking MaRa’s boots? Be fair, this is the calibre of people we have, dancing to the tune of major political parties. Its a shame.

  • 27
    1

    This is a classic case of UNUTH EKAI, MUNUTH EKAI.

    Welcome to the land of Horu and Minimaruwos.

    Why are we always doomed as a Nation. Cannot we find one Lee Kwan Yu, from over 20 Million people, less the minorities of course. Constitutionally, not allowed to lead the State, or should we change the constitution.

    Give it a serious thought guys.

  • 21
    2

    If the UNP leadership is hell bent on scuttling any investigation into the alleged Treasury Bond scam, then it obviously have something to hide itself. Then the investigation should extend to them as well.

  • 20
    1

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
    All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
    Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
    This what happened at COPE for Ranil.

  • 27
    2

    Harsha de Silva’s PhD is getting cheap by the day.
    An uncivilised guy is born into a civilised family. Ruining the family name and his Alma mater. He is Sujeewa Senasinghe. he has totally lost his bearing & come to wield power and do not know what to do with it and gets his foot in the mouth all the time. he needs a spanking.

  • 22
    5

    The Prime Minister has no choice at all in this regard. We demand his resignation forthwith. He should do so, if he has an iota of self respect.

    • 8
      11

      Chandra,

      “The Prime Minister has no choice at all in this regard. We demand his resignation forthwith. He should do so, if he has an iota of self respect.”

      Yes! Exactly!

      And appoint Mahinda Rajapaksha as the Prime Minister!

      Ane huka!

      • 8
        2

        Silva aren’t you tired of worshiping these poofs !

    • 5
      1

      He does not give a damn . He is doing what he does best – globetrotting with friends .

  • 7
    3

    I do not understand this bond issue nor I want to study that.
    But my question is how this Central Bank was left alone, if fiddling billions is this easy ?
    The former regime has robbed everywhere it could and the former Governor during the last regime was ideally suited for the family.
    Also they have swindled EPF in billions and Ratwatte is already in remand for that.
    Please enlighten me if anyone could.

    • 6
      2

      Please call Mahinda Jarapassa, Nivata Kabbarala and the rest of the Jarapassa clan for information.

  • 4
    18

    The media keeps giving us only one side of this bond scam story involving Arjun Mahendran. We constantly hear that “He is a fraud and he caused the country to lose 1.6 Billion Rupees and consequently his son-in-law earned a profit of Rs. 5 Billion”.

    Why hasn’t anyone been able to establish how inside information was conveyed to Perpetual Treasuries other than insinuate it may have happened due to the relationship connection? PT was in the bond business with Central Bank even during Cabraal’s time. Weren’t they having Private Placements only to selected MR cronies then? We should know who earned Billions then and who passed price sensitive information from within Central Bank (probably it is still happening even though the Governors have changed).

    Harsha De Silva would not oppose the COPE findings unless there is something significant which the media refuses to recognize. We should get both sides of the story and should not be carried away or influenced by the media bashing of Arjun Mahendran.

    • 9
      0

      So much green ín your blood

      • 0
        0

        One’s blood need not be green to look at a matter rationally. The media and most of the commentators in this blog have already hung Arjun Mahendran without even establishing his guilt without a reasonable doubt.

  • 11
    0

    When the president wanted to appoint a board of inquiry to look into this matter prime minister preemptied him by appointing a bunch of chronies from the UNP to inquire. This is like “horage ammagen pena ahanawa”. Now UNP members are merely trying to defend the PM;s stand on this issue. They have no choice if they want to remain in the UNP but obey their leader.
    These chronies of PM from Royal such as Mahendran and Sri Lankan chairman are taking this so called yahapalana govt. to dust bins

  • 8
    0

    This reminds me of the Kalawana election petition during the heady days of JRJ.

    Premier RW,the Nephew of JRJ has proved to be of the same caliber.
    Kalawana,both are elected. At COPE divided opinion!

  • 6
    0

    Let us now see how the advocate of yahapalanaya Mr. Sira handles this mess!

    • 2
      0

      @words: Probably in his usual fashion – and nothing will come of it!

      Mr. Sira has strayed from the yahapalanaya path and is lost in the maze of entanglements of his own making.

      And the ‘Mr. Clean’ tag is showing signs of wear and tear, so Ranil is also suspect.

      We have helped to replace one group of criminals with another bunch that is fast catching up with the last lot.

      Oh woe is us!

  • 13
    2

    Everybody has completely forgotten ARTHIKA GATHAKAYA PB and CABAAL. and what about the massive hedging deal, chogm,st kitts commonwealth games.

    • 3
      2

      Where were all these loud mouths hiding in the days of MR when there was no freedom of speech and expression?

  • 11
    0

    Hell bent on safe guarding Arjuna Mahendran – UNP.
    HELL BENT ON SAFE GUARDING DAHAM SIRISENA AND GOTA – SLFP

  • 1
    0

    This may be good news for the JO: They can easily pinpoint that the UNP as a party and its front-line ministers and MPs who are members of the COPE committee are all partners in crime. If the President appoints a Presidential commission to investigate the matter I am sure Siri-kota will be in chaos. Many UNP MPs and ministers lose their jobs for life. This is an ideal opportunity to get rid of at least one set of crooks who lied about an Utopian Yahapalanaya.
    People are eager to find out what percentage was given to these ‘partners in crime’ and how many millions it was. This money is definitely hidden in offshore banks just like the previous crooks had done.

  • 4
    2

    Who selected the PM’s photograph for this article? Editors of CT! It’s not funny! You know?

    • 7
      1

      What is that big thing near RWs face ?

  • 9
    0

    Im disgusted and appalled by the actions of the UNP members of the COPE !! I expected at least Dr Harsh De Silva and Eran Wickrameratne would play by the rules and not try to safeguard the culprits. This is absolouteley disgusting and I no longer have any faith or trust in them. I gave my first vote to Ranil Wickremesinghe back in 2001 as I had much respect for him as a visionary leader. But I lost all respect I had for RW after the bond scam. He should resign immediately !! It was him who made Mahendran the CB Govenor when there were so many other eligible people. RW should take full responsibility for this daylight roberry.

  • 8
    0

    Is Senasinghe the UNP Minister who sold his Car Permit to a Muslim Businessman, and colleted LKR 36 Million,?.

    Didn’t that transaction deny the Yahapalana Inland Revenue LKR 36 Million from the Muslim Businessman?.

    Wouldn’t that force the UNP Treasurer to collect that LKR 36 Million from the poor Dalits through his Yahapalana VAT?.

    Beautiful…

  • 5
    0

    NOT AN ACTOR , BUT A SENSIBLE BRAIN…?? Really..? Ranil Bloody A$#

  • 9
    0

    Ranil wickremasinghe is not “hell bent on saving Mahendran,he is hell bent on saving his own ass as Mahendran has already implicated Ranil. If Mahendran goes down so does Ranil.

  • 3
    5

    Protecting corrupt people is not in Ranil’s genes. Also he is not trying to protect Mr. Mahendran because he was an ex college mate
    and a friend of his family. It is on principles that Ranil is hell
    bent on protecting Arjun Mahendran, risking his own reputation as a
    sincere and straight forward man as he is convinced that Mahendran
    was not involved in the bond scam. Sri Lankans should be proud that
    he is the ONLY politician who cannot be bought over for money. Its
    not easy to have such people among politicians specially among third world countries Name a few who are not corrupt, not among smaller political parties like TNA/JVP, if you can.
    COPE is expected to look after malpractices.frauds,waste and financial
    irregularities in public corporations and report to Parliament but today COPE is working on party lines, hence Lets not politicise the issue and an independent commission like the CC or Civil society or the Supreme court sit on this case and decide the destiny.It is true the govt.lost lot money on this particular transaction and it was due to inside information leaking out to the investors and how it leaked to outsiders should be investigated first and if Mahendran is involved,
    charge him.

  • 3
    1

    NAK

    “If Mahendran goes down so does Ranil.”

    Does it mean Mahinda rises up?

  • 4
    0

    Sira is the Judge and Jury.
    Lets not jump into conclusions let the cope report be tabled. Then we can crucify Ranil, mahendran,arjun, malik,ravi dealdasa and vajira buruwardena.

    we can forget cabral,pb,namal,gota,mahinda,yoshitha,cheechee baba,basil,thiru and the rest coz executive shielding the lot.

  • 3
    0

    Daya Gamage had spent his fortunes for the UNP general elections. As a reward for that, he got two minister posts including one for his national list appointed wife. He was friendly with the Rajapakse govt and he was running hingurana distillaries and liquor businesses. So, He got the first contract from yahapalana govt for Rs 500 million construction contract for his company. Recently, he got another Rs 500 million Alcohol consignment.

    that is how both Mahinda Rajapakse and Ranil wickramsinghe became supporters of destruction of Sri lanka.

  • 5
    0

    The former Mr Clean now Mr Dirty. Ranil at this ripe age you have lost your integrity. People had lots of hope about you. You are not only inefficient you are also corrupt. Its is time you start packing your bag. You are an arrogant man. how can you say that parliamentarians know only James Bond and not about treasury bonds. are you off your head the entire country known you and mahendran robed the country. Its not the media, if he is innocent let him prove him self. why are you protecting him? think if Ranil had a son?

    MS you are a dead loss. You came to power because of hate votes of MR. you donot have charisma or a personality to lead this country. You are trying to protect gota and set him against MR.

    • 1
      0

      Love it! You are hallucinating, and you don’t even realize it!

  • 0
    0

    The UNP is digging its own grave – very fast and all to protect RW’s protégé.

    RW is not financially corrupt but has a blind spot where the RC Old boys are concerned. Look at the coterie he has surrounded himself with. Are they the most competent ? Aren’t there better qualified ? Consider his utterly ridiculous suggestion to appoint his buddy Charitha R as the Governor of the Central Bank !!

    This is his blind spot and will surely bring the UNP down as it did in 2002

  • 3
    1

    It is clear that few comments if any actually understood what happened in the Bond issue. Perpetual would have made money whether or not Mahendran was or NOT in the Central Bank. This has nothing to do with Mahendran, except for his introducing the Auction system prevailing the world over, in an environment where competition was weak due to the incompetence of the State Institutions.

    As the PM has said time and time again, don’t blame Perpetual for making money, if other Institutions with far greater access to funds did NOT take advantage of the same opportunity to bid. It is this simple premise that the UNP MP’s are sticking to. The only point I will fault the PM on is his appointment of Mahendran in the first place, because his son-in-law was heading a Primary dealership. Therefore there is a conflict of interest, and I pointed this out in my blog, on January 12th 2015 three days into the new Govt. Had the PM heeded my advice none of this would have occurred.

    Yes, Perpetual made money due to this void. However do not try and lay the blame on Mahendran. When you get people who think they can second guess in COPE, but do not understand that CBSL itself is rife with unsavory characters holding office, who were compromised during the previous administration, they have conveniently slipped out of prosecution! Why? They MAY be part of the problem even NOW since Perpetual is still making money with NO Mahendran around.

    Doesn’t anyone here have any common sense to see the irony of this point?

    It is sad when we really do not have ANY journalist, and CT is complicit, who really understands financial transactions and is able to weigh the pros and cons. The reporters are investigative journalists with NO financial nouse! Pretty pathetic ha, repeating what others merely say!

    It is time the Excreta is cleaned out of the Central Bank in order to return to Good Practice, and I do not see ONE journalist suggest that! Why? they too are ATA PASS like the LOT in Parliament. Can you expect a reasoned argument under the circumstance. Everyone is parroting the same argument for over 18 months now! Time for some intelligence if we have any who can contribute sense.

    CONCLUSION – The really guilty have NOT even been identified by COPE, they still hold very senior positions in the Central Bank, time they are outed, we have to clean out the stables and start again. It is disgraceful that some of our highest paid civil servants need to make money illegally, because for them their salaries are NOT enough. When their gravy train was reduced after Cabraal, they had it in for Perpetual and Mahendran. CBSL staffers lies is the thread that COPE hung their hat on. Time they ask the right questions first. Problem – They don’t know what questions to ask. It a blind leading the blind here, and until we remove the blind men from parliament we cannot progress as a Country.

    The Auditor General’s report is simply a calculation of differences in Interest rates amounting to a profit calculation, some members of COPE don’t understand that either. A state bank could easily have made as much money if they bid at the auctions. Its never too late, bid bid bid even today, don’t leave it to Perpetual to make the call and make the money, while you are still warming your desks unwilling to bat for the Country.

    • 1
      0

      You hit the nail on the head!

  • 1
    1

    Hell Bent On Safeguarding Arjuna Mahendran, UNP Scuttles COPE.
    Hell Bent On Safeguarding Gotabaya Rajapaksa, SLFP Scuttles Bribery Comm
    I am willing to admit that i may not always be right. But i am never wrong!

  • 1
    0

    Well done Handunhetti, the champions of good governance, Ajith, Sujeewa and other UNP COPE members were desperate to safeguard the bloke Mahendan and in turn PM. I have not seen Sajith is speaking about this issue. He is dead silent. SRI LANKA needs Patriotic politicians. What a pity, MY3 is another politically corrupted bloke. He give lessons to others but no lessons to his children.

  • 2
    1

    SPOT ON MUDSON.

    What Happened to the helping Hambantota Tsunami Fraud??
    Deputy Social Services Minister Ranjan Ramanayake lodged a complaint against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

    The complaint has charged that Rajapaksa was responsible for the misappropriation of Rs. 82 billion from tsunami funds in 2005.

    Bond scam and tsunami scam both are important.

  • 0
    0

    Why Mahendran, a Singaporean citizen still in the country working for
    the Govt., instead of fleeing the country if he is guilty of the bond scam. His passport is not impounded and in fact he has two PPs,one Sri
    Lankan and the other Singaporean.
    Why is the PM risking his reputation in protecting Mahendran if he is
    at fault.
    Why is the President silent on the issue as normally he would have taken a rash action and got FCID arrest Mahendran & Alloysius. He
    removed the DG, Bribery commission without any consultation with
    the PM and at short notice.

    Folks, here are some food for thought !

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