20 November, 2018

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Senasinghe Gets An Earful For Trying To Derail COPE Investigation Against Arjuna Mahendran

Minister of International Trade, Sujeewa Senasinghe has received an earful from senior COPE members for allegedly adopting an intimidating manner during the questioning of officials of Central Bank over the bond scam involving ex-Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe

State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe

Yesterday, several officials including Deputy Governors of the Central Bank were ordered to appear before the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) for further inquiries on the bond scam; however Senasinghe, who was made a COPE member in only July, had adopted an unacceptable tone while questioning the Central Bank officials.

Sources said that it was obvious Senasinghe was trying to safeguard Mahendran, in the way he was questioning the witnesses.

He was later rebuked by the more senior members of COPE who warned him against his manner of questioning the Central Bank officials. “He was also told to make sure he will not repeat this conduct at any other COPE meetings,” the sources said.

During yesterday’s meeting, the Auditor General’s report on the Central Bank bond issue was discussed at length and the COPE members questioned officials of the Central Bank with regard to the content in the report. The COPE is scheduled to submit their findings on the Central Bank bond issue to Parliament before end of this month.

When the Colombo Telegraph contacted Senasinghe, a member of his staff who answered his mobile said that the Minister was unavailable for comment and to call later.

In July, the Colombo Telegraph reported that the independence of the COPE was in jeopardy due to clandestine moves by the UNP to thwart attempts in taking action against Mahendran. Since the Auditor’s General’s Report was released, several UNP members in the COPE have been trying to find various excuses in their attempt to delay the process. However, other members of COPE have been equally adamant and have not allowed certain UNP members to act in an unacceptable manner which can jeopardize the COPE’s investigations process.

In July, the UNP leadership decided to bring in Senasinghe, in an effort to strengthen the UNP COPE team trying to protect Mahendran. The party had ordered MP M. Velu Kumar who was a COPE Member to resign from the committee, and make way for Senasinghe.

Following this development in July, former chairman of COPE and leader of the Communist Party D. E. W. Gunasekera accused Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and several other UNP members of conspiring against COPE to clear Mahendran’s name from several charges including his alleged involvement in the two Treasury bond scams.

Subsequently, good governance activist, Chandra Jayaratne in an open letter to UNP Members of COPE said, “Trust that your independence, professionalism and your core values will drive you to probe with an open mind; seek information; ask critical questions before you conclude your review; be aware that you are represented on the COPE Committee not to declare a verdict of ‘guilty‘ or ‘not guilty’ on the part of the Government, the former Governor, Deputy Governor in charge of Public Debt nor even the Monetary Board, the relevant Primary Dealers, Traders of EPF and State Institutions and Banks ; but your role is merely to satisfy whether the weighted evidence points to the essential need for the Committee to refer this issue to the relevant law enforcement agency, to investigate and determine whether a serious offense punishable under section 70 of the Sri Lankan Legislative Enactments dealing with Bribery and Corruption have taken place in respect of Bond issues of 27 February 2015, 29th March 2016 and 31st March 2016.”

While also reminding that the memories of all the young professionals, the youth, the intelligent voters and civil society activists, who so actively canvassed for the 8th January 2015 regime change and in the General Elections that followed, are not short nor fading, Jayaratne also urged the UNP COPE members to act in an independent manner without defending the position of Mahendran on grounds that no scam has taken place and no loss has been suffered. He also requested the UNP COPE members to stop criticizing the Auditor General as someone erroneous in his judgment for issuing a report on the scam.

“You must therefore immediately desist from any action that risks the future of this country; its future generations, as well as be cognizant of the current socio political economy; the image internationally of the country risked to be damaged permanently; and above all the impressions your voters will have of you next time round if you act outside your core values,” Jayaratne added in his letter. ( By Munza Mushtaq @ Colombo Telegraph ) 

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Latest comments

  • 15
    32

    CJ we all are well aware that u are a lackey of the Uneducated President, the Head of the Sirasa Network, who is paying you well, to keep the pressure on Mahendran.
    This goes on any further, this government will collapse & you ll be waiting for the white van.
    Our current President is no lesser evil of a thug than his predecessor .
    Both of you & Mr Sirasa will get from God what you ll deserve & it won’t be a divine intervention but retribution.

    • 13
      2

      Sons, This is a really poor assessment of Chandra Jayaratne and his worth. It is tiring to read rubbish directed at highly respected men who will never stoop as low as suggested. If this sort of wild accusations can be made on the web, it is better that the reader’s response is taken off completely until we have a mature readership.

      “Uneducated President”? Boy, he’s the MOST educated man now doing politics in this country. Dont believe me, just listen to him!

  • 13
    16

    Media coolies sponsored by Killi Mahendran at work again.Sirasa journos are so cheap stuff.

  • 7
    2

    [Edited out]Semey might want to distribute posters with his face with some Govt flood relief goods again to regain his lost stature. Or put posters with his face and AM’s face and plaster them. [Edited out]

  • 8
    10

    CJ’s open letters, statements, and what-not imply that he has already passed his verdict on Mahendran’s guilt. Doesn’t his request to the UNP members of COPE to act with professionalism smack of hypocrisy? Just because you can write long letters with posh English words, doesn’t make you an expert (just like how Dr. Nonis tried to pass himself off as a bastion of professionalism with his big words and posh British accent). Hypocrites jaya-wewa!

  • 22
    3

    Every one with an iota of common sense knew why Senasinghe was suddenly appointed to the COPE, which was a manipulation. Nevertheless Senasinghe found that he cannot have his way in trying foolish tactics.

    There was a purpose why Jarapassa was thrown out, namely to institute Good Governance or Yaha Palanaya (YP) and that acronym cannot stand for Your Problem if you voted for this team.

    Bond Mahendran should have had the foresight to tell his Son-in-Law not to step into Sri Lanka as long as the he was the Governor for Bond trading. Whatever it is his reputation as a high flyer is tarnished and now he may not be in the Singapore Market any more. Wickramasinghe side of the Government, which has its way in this sphere of work should also have had the foresight to appoint at the start it self, a person of the calibre of the present Governor Indrajit, whose appointment was hailed even by the ardent opponents of the Government.

    More you try to cover up, more problems. Let the truth come out and it could even help Mahendran to clear his name to the extent that he had no knowledge that his son-in-law was involved in the trading tantamounting to a conflict of interest although some circumstantial evidence is much against him.

  • 26
    8

    Ranil working hard to thwart democracy and good governance. Any difference to Mahinda?

  • 11
    21

    “however Senasinghe, who was made a COPE member in only July, had adopted an unacceptable tone while questioning the Central Bank officials.

    Sources said that it was obvious Senasinghe was trying to safeguard Mahendran, in the way he was questioning the witnesses.

    He was later rebuked by the more senior members of COPE who warned him against his manner of questioning the Central Bank officials. “He was also told to make sure he will not repeat this conduct at any other COPE meetings,” the sources said.”

    Who is the lunatic at CT writing this nonsense? It appears to the readers of this bullshit from CT that the so called “more senior members of COPE” too “have adopted an unacceptable tone” trying to dictate to Serasinghe not to go against their preconceived prejudiced conviction on AM and also trying to bully him how to and not to question the CB officials! This is utter nonsense and bullshit. Any COPE member can ask questions along the lines he thinks fit and necessary which will assist the inquiry and shed light where necessary. By trying to control Serasinghe on how to ask questions it is these “seniors” who seem to have a different and hidden agenda of their own that they are trying to hide!

    • 3
      1

      Silva

      Only senior member in the COPE is Hon. Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

    • 3
      5

      CT is at it again.
      They are all out to crucify AM because he is a well qualified Tamil Banker. CJ cannot hold a candle even though he invokes racism to his support. CT please be fair and be a proper journalist instaed of being a gutter press.

  • 16
    2

    If there is truth to this report then Senasinghe’s behavior is very much like how Wimal behaved when he was in cope investigating allegations against the former CJ. We all know that Wimal is an qualified an uncouth politician. The big question is, is Senesinghe getting there fast too. His brother’s recent public performance hasn’t helped him either and public disgust at such behavior is increasing. We voted this government because we wanted good governance. If they act in contrary to the people’s mandate they will be disposed dramatically like the Rajapase regime.

  • 15
    4

    These politicians who think that they are gods and trying to intimidate honest public officials should be brought down from the pedestals and taught that they are servants of the people elected by masses not to fatten their bellies but to serve the people. It is time that public servants treat these peoples servants as their equals and stop bending backs in their presence. For a start address these swollen headed politicians as Minister or MP so and so and ensure they address you according to your stature. Our public officers expect the staff under them to call them Sir which practice should be stopped. All public servants are equal and its time the clerks address their superiors by name. Media should take a role in educating the masses that politicians are servants of people and not masters as they like to think.

    • 3
      1

      Banana Republic

      All the citizens are equal before law, that doesn’t mean that they’re equal at their work place related to their responsibilities.

      In Sri Lanka it’s still a matter of courtesy and expression of loyalty that high ranking officials are addressed in a dignified way calling them sir.

      It’s no reason for anybody to get hurt as it is work place culture in Sri Lanka whether in private or public sector.

      There’s no need to be hurry to plant US or UK work place culture in our country.

      To my knowledge the lower rank officers/workers are also addressed in dignified way using the word mister or mahatthaya.

      It is that swollen headed junior/low rank employees who’re reluctant to address the superiors with the deserved dignity.

  • 14
    1

    Feeling sorry for this young politician who is trying to further strengthen his position in the party by pleasing his leader forgetting his commitment towards Good Governance so soon. Cyril

  • 2
    2

    This behaviour reflects [Edited out]

  • 6
    2

    The UNP Leadership has successfully found a replacement for Wimal Weerawansa in the Yahapalanaya Government. Cheers.

  • 4
    1

    This shows why he was appointed to the COPE committee.

  • 7
    1

    In a decent and civilized system, he should step down.

    But, Ranil Rajapakse follows Mahinda Chintanaya which is corrupt to the core.

    • 3
      0

      Sri Lankans are not a Civilized nation mate. Lucky we have an educated and honest chairman ( Sunil Hnadunheththi). But he is not accepted by this uncivilized country. God bless you guys.

  • 4
    1

    The report says;

    “In July, the UNP leadership decided to bring in Senasinghe, in an effort to strengthen the UNP COPE team trying to protect Mahendran. The party had ordered MP M. Velu Kumar who was a COPE Member to resign from the committee, and make way for Senasinghe.”

    Knowing the caliber of Ranil Wickramasinghe, We should not be surprised by the reported behavior of Senasinghe. The schemers in politics always nurture “Cats’ Paws at different levels. Be it COPE or any other state institution. We should not even be surprised if “Black Vans” appear in the night very soon in front of the houses of those who oppose the maneuvering of the UNP Strongman. We, the rural folks say; “Kahi gani deela Hotu gani” gaththa wage vadak api karagena thiyenne.

  • 3
    0

    Falling over each other in a popularity contest? It looks like thuggery is the new thing in politics. Surprising where a government was just toppled for being thugs. Why?

  • 0
    2

    [Edited out]

  • 2
    0

    MAHENDRAN DID NOTHING WRONG.
    ITS ARJUN ALOYSIOUS WHO SHOULD BE BEHONC
    BARS.
    I HOPE IT HAPPENS soon, he’s a fucjing crook

  • 2
    2

    You idiot, Alosius is Mahendrens son in law they are all in house crooks!!
    Mahendran or Alosius are pussy cats when comes to ponna Ranil who is behind the whole bond scam.

  • 1
    2

    Yahapalana ambattaya’s talk big about the free justice system since their arrival but they completely forget about senasinghe who has a case against for violation of election rules and threatening the police in Homagama courts. This case was called several times but Sujeewa failed to appear but he ‘Jahapalana’ magistrate refused to issue a warrant.And now the case file is missing or nothing more is heard about the case and sujeewa thrives as if nothing happened.
    This is the justice of the ‘Jahapalanaya”!

  • 1
    2

    Senasinghe [Edited out]
    Clearly RW wanted to disturb and distract COPE proceedings which were going to focus on Central Bank goings-on. What better way to do that than appoint a loud mouth into the committee. This is the [Edited out] who can massive hoarding all over town, when the party had a policy against them.

    Why we discuss these morons and their activities, when others vote them into office is the 64 million $ question ?

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