No such name list

Published : 9:15 am  June 14, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (57) reads | 

Metro-logo:Why does the Government not introduce legislation to monitor and control election funding like the Indian Elections Commission?


Minister Senaratne: The Government has taken steps in this regard. A Parliamentary Act is being drafted right now to control and monitor election expenditure and funding.

By Sandun A Jayasekera

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on the Central Bank Bond Scam had not mentioned anywhere in its report on politicians, journalists, officials or any other person, who had allegedly received financial gratuities from Arjun Aloysius, Cabinet Spokesman Dr Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday.

He said that the figures 118 and 169 quoted by the media and politicians as the number of financial beneficiaries from Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. boss.


Addressing the weekly cabinet news briefing yesterday, Minister Senaratne said names of politicians and amount of hard cash and cheques received by them from Mr Aloysius were exposed during investigations carried out by the CID on the bond scandal.


Minister Senaratne said Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had received Sections C350 to C360 of the PCoI Report and he would table the full report in Parliament when he received the remaining sections, which had been retained.
The Sections C350 to C360 of the report carry on the details of phone records collected by the CID on conversations between individuals connected to Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) including its owner Arjun Aloysius and politicians, journalists, religious leaders and civil society members.


However, Minister Senaratne pointed out that it was common and an accepted system in Parliamentary democracies to accept financial benefits for businesses for election propaganda and Sri Lanka was no exception.
“But, if the recipient attempts to return the help with illegal or unethical means and if the donor expected the same from the politician or official that is wrong and unethical,” he said.


“Therefore, no one must help or obtain help with ulterior motives, this cannot be accepted and is liable for punishment legally or otherwise,” Minister Senaratne stressed.


He said the CID continued to investigate bank accounts of PTL and other business establishments, affiliated to it, to have a better picture on those who got money from Mr Aloysius.


The dialogue between Minister Senaratne and journalists was as follows:


A Journalist:


Have you received money from Arjun?


Minister Senaratne:


Never, I am sad and unhappy for you asking these questions from me. I have not received money not only from Arjun but from any other individual, for my political campaigns.


Daily mirror:
Many people are unhappy for sidelining Matara District UNP Parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana. Why is that?


Minister Senaratne:
No. No. He will be appointed as a Deputy Minister soon after he returns from his foreign trip.


Daily mirror:
The underworld is at its peak committing murders, abductions, assaults and bank robberies Islandwide. Many individuals fell victim to dastardly crimes committed by the underworld and it is quite obvious that the Government cannot control the underworld.


Minister Senaratne:
Underworld characters were at work under any Government and underworld is active in any country and the Government has taken measures to apprehend criminals.


Daily mirror:
No Mr Minister. The underworld has raised its head once again and the law enforcement authorities seem helpless.


Minister Senaratne:
The Police act on arresting criminals and frame charges against them


Daily mirror:
But look like criminals have taken the upper hand. You may remember that under the previous Government, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa controlled the underworld in his own style and no one disagreed or protested. I think, that was a highly result oriented programme and there was no underworld by 2015. No one questioned about the Fundamental Rights (FR) or Human Rights (HR) of those criminals, who were eliminated. It was a good tactic to control the underworld and the people accepted it happily.


Minister Senaratne:
I will convey your proposal to President Maithripala Sirisena. (Laughter in the audience)


Daily mirror:
Even President Sirisena is not happy with the performance of the Police Department and the Law and Order situation in the country.


Minister Senaratne:
No, I don’t think so. President discusses defence and security matters once a week when National Security Council (NSC) meets. The IGP also attends that meeting.


Daily mirror:
But President Sirisena has said that he would take measures to appoint capable people to maintain Law and Order if incumbents failed in controlling the underworld.


Minister Senaratne:
Has the President said that?


Daily mirror: Yes. Not only the underworld. Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and Sivajilingam in the North are very active in the North spreading hate and mistrust against the South among the Northern Tamils. The Government is silent on their hate speeches and extremism. Why?


Minister Senaratne:
Don’t take them seriously. All democratic forces have rejected both of them and there are no followers for them. If they and their acts are accepted they must be popular. Only less than 400 attended to celebrate their Mahaveerar Day on May 19 and Sivajilingam was beaten at Parliamentary Polls.


Daily mirror:
Why can’t the Government bend the law and take appropriate action against these LTTE sympathizers?


Minister Senaratne:
I think the people in the North will give them a good reply at the forthcoming polls. These people live on racism and racism is the last resort of bankrupt politicians.


A journalist:
How many more Ministers, State and Deputy Ministers would be appointed by the Government?


Minister Senaratne:
The appointment of two State Ministers and five Deputy Ministers is the final.


Journalist:
Can you give an assurance that there will be no more appointments?


Minister Senaratne;
No, we expect this must be the last. But if and when the requirement demands, yes. Why not more?


Journalist:
Why did the Government appoint a Muslim member as the Deputy Minister for Hindu Religious Affairs?


Minister Senaratne:
What’s wrong with it? It manifests the Government’s reconciliation policy. Besides, there are instances where Sinhalese members have been appointed to look after other religions, other than Buddhism. A Tamil member to look after National Languages.