Debate in Parliament

Published : 9:29 am  January 25, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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If guilty, PT assets will be taken over: Amaraweera

By Yohan Perera  DM_20170125_A001-127
The joint opposition yesterday hinted at taking legal action against those who were responsible for the controversial bond issue. 

However, he said it was not easy to probe financial scams and the assistance of experts was needed for this purpose.  
“The President will closely monitor the shortcomings of the government just as he was alert to the bond issue,” the minister said. “The previous regime was engaged in large- scale frauds and the present government is also engaged in some corruption. Both are equally wrong.”  
The minister said the opposition has the right to highlight the shortcomings of the government but it should not put the development of the country in jeopardy.


UNP welcomes SPC to probe bond issue: Kabir

By Yohan Perera   DM_20170125_A001-128
The United National Party (UNP) said yesterday it welcomed the appointment of a Special Presidential Commission to investigate the bond issue, UNP Secretary and Minister Kabir Hashim told Parliament yesterday.  

He said the SPC report would be forwarded to the Attorney General. “We will submit the report of the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to the Attorney General,” the minister said and added that the scams which are known to have taken place at the Central Bank during Nivard Cabraal’s tenure as governor should also be probed.   
“Nivard Cabral’s sister was a director of Perpetual Treasuries” he said.   
The minister said Entrust Securities was engaged in a Rs.1.2 billion scam in 2014 and this too should be probed. “We propose that a Special Presidential Commission be appointed to probe this scam as well,” he said and added that this was the first debate in Parliament on a COPE report. “No one was allowed to speak on scams during the previous regime but we have allowed such a thing today,” he said.   


Previous govt. swept almost 30 COPE reports under the carpet – Kiriella

By Yohan Perera   fgui
Almost 30 COPE reports had been swept under the carpet by the previous government, said Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella yesterday.

Speaking during the adjournment debate on the bond issue, Mr. Kiriella said a presidential commission had been appointed to look into one COPE report by this government while it had also allowed a debate to go ahead.   
He said the present government had appointed an opposition member as the Chairman of COPE unlike governments in the past.   
Mr. Kiriella said the Supreme Courts had dismissed a petition filed on the bond issue, as the petitioner had only assumed that the bond issue of February 2015 had cost the government billions of rupees. He said the Supreme Courts had asked the petitioner to show how he had calculated the losses.  


SPC to complete probe in 3 months

By Yohan Perera   DM_20170125_A001-122
The Special Presidential Commission appointed to probe the controversial bond issue will complete its investigations in three months and hand over the report to President Maithripala Sirisena, Minister Nimal Siripala De Siva told Parliament yesterday.  

He said the SPC was appointed in the wake of a request made by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and that it had been mandated to recommend the action that should be taken against those responsible for the bond issue.   
He said even the Bank of Ceylon which acted as a broker for perpetual treasuries had to be investigated and assured that the President would not hesitate to take action against the wrongdoers.   



Speaker must handle the penalising of wrongdoers: JVP

By Yohan Perera   DM_20170125_A001-123
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya should take the responsibility of penalizing those found guilty of the Central Bank bond issue, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday.

He welcomed President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to appoint a Special Presidential Commission. “We are thankful to the President for appointing a commission even though it comes late in the day,” the MP said.   
He said the probe must inquire into how Perpetual Treasuries earned Rs.21 billion in 21 months and as to why the EPF risked people’s hard-earned savings to purchase bonds from Perpetual Treasuries.   
The MP urged the government to cancel the primary dealer licence of Perpetual Treasuries and said arrangements should be made to recover the losses incurred by the government from those involved in the controversy.   
He revealed that the Auditor General was subjected to threats by some COPE members during its investigations.   


JO Govt. will arrest Arjun Aloysius: Namal

By Yohan Perera   DM_20170125_A001-121
A joint opposition government will not hesitate to arrest Perpetual Treasuries Chief Arjun Aloysius, MP Namal Rajapaksa said yesterday. 

He said the EPF had lost more than Rs.15 billion in its dealings with Perpetual Treasuries.   Hitting out at the Special Presidential Commission appointed to investigate the bond scam, the MP said it would only result in another report.   
“Commissions are appointed and reports are produced whenever the government faces difficulties,” he said.   


JO hints at legal action

By Yohan Perera  DM_20170125_A001-124
The joint opposition yesterday hinted at taking legal action against those who were responsible for the controversial bond issue.  He said the EPF had lost more than Rs.15 billion in its dealings with Perpetual Treasuries.

JO MP Bandula Gunawardane said all documents he used for the debate would be used for any legal action against those responsible and the documents which were tabled would be used as public documents.  
“The bond issue will go down in history as one of the worst acts of corruption. It is daylight robbery where the interest rates were jacked up to 12 per cent from 9 per cent within hours.  
The MP revealed that Perpetual Treasuries which was blamed was given the primary dealer’s licence in 2013 but the company began earnings billions only after 2015.  


All govts. defend corruption-Sampanthan

By Yohan Perera   fgufg
All governments, past and present, defend the corrupt, said Opposition Leader R Sampanthan yesterday.   

Speaking during an adjournment debate in the House, Mr. Sampanthan said corruption was endemic in the country.   
“Parties hit each other on corruption during elections. This government is also being attacked on corruption. One party is defeated and another party comes to power. However corruption continues. They blame each other, but do nothing to end corruption. People are getting sick of this situation,” he said   
“Corruption might end democracy in this country. Nepotism and dictatorship have always followed rampant corruption in many countries. People who are guilty are not punished. Is there anyone who was punished by a court for corruption? There is no one. You are just fooling the people,” he said.