Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Anura Kumara Dissanayake has declared that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe must also take responsibility for the Treasury bond scam committed at the Central Bank.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Dissanayake highlighted that even though the scam was disclosed soon after it took place, instead of taking action against it, Wickremesinghe chose to suppress it. “The bond transaction occurred in February 2015, and a few days later, we disclosed this scam. But, the government, instead of taking action against it, or even ordering an investigation, chose to suppress it,” he said.
“It is the government’s duty to safeguard the money they earn from the people. We saw people voting for change at the January 8, 2015 election because people opposed all forms of corruption and stealing, so even more than the previous government’s duty, it was this government’s duty to ensure the wrongdoings by the Rajapaksa regime did not continue, but this is not what has happened,” the JVP leader said.
He said that if the government was clean, then when the controversial bond transaction was first highlighted they would have ordered an investigation. “But, they are not clean,” Dissanayake said.
He noted that during the Rajapaksa regime 30 COPE reports were released but all the reports ended in the garbage bin. “But, we are hoping this will change now and action will be taken against the culprits,” he said.
Dissanayake added that the Parliament’s role was limited in such a scam, and it has done its maximum, through the COPE report, but taking action against the culprits was the responsibility of the authorities. “We will ensure that the culprits will not go unpunished,” he said.
He also hit out at Wickremesinghe demanding that the Prime Minister stop trying to intimidate the media for their role in highlighting the bond scam and the COPE proceedings. “We are telling the Prime Minister and his supporters, to stop intimidating the media because they were reporting on the bond scam and the COPE. Before pointing fingers at others, the Prime Minister and his supporters should come clean first.”
Prior to the Handunneththi led investigation, many gossip web sites and social media sites circulated stories claiming that the JVP were being manipulated by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. There was also a meme created sometime ago where even the traditional red cap and red shirt worn by the JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake was photoshopped in green, the colour of the United National Party. Anura Kumara Dissanayake was also branded as a ‘Rathu Ali Patiya‘ metaphorically meaning ‘Baby Red Elephant’.