ECONOMYNEXT – President Maithripala Sirisena’s office has put out several versions of his bond commission statement in an apparent attempt to soften the blow to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his party.
The first English translation of the President’s Sinhala statement was reasonably close to the original, but a subsequent version — Bond Report V3 final.docx — took the sting out.
It removed all references to Wickremesinghe and the then finance minister Ravi Karunanayake.
The President’s website carried the first translation and later swapped it with the new version which was once again amended bringing back references to Ravi Karunanayake but without including Wickremesinghe’s name.
Faulting the Prime Minister for not taking action against the then Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran and also blindly believing in him was removed from the final, final version published on the president’s official website.
The deleted para read: "The Commission is of the opinion that the Prime Minister made his statement in Parliament regarding the appointment of Mr Mahendran believing in the facts presented by Mr. Mahendran and Mr.Samarasiri, especially the promises made by Mr Mahendran. The Report also says that the Prime Minister should not have done that."
Another crucial paragraph that was initially deleted and later restored was: "The Commission report refers to the allegation against former Finance Minister Mr Ravi Karunanayake regarding the payment of rent for the penthouse apartment belongs to the Aloysius Family and their Walter and Rowe Company and stated that Mr Karunanayake was responsible for that and recommended that the government should take necessary action against Mr. Ravi Karunanayake under the section of bribery and corruption and further legal action under the penal codes for giving false evidence at the Commission."
Earlier, the President had told senior United National Party (UNP) stalwarts in private that the bond commission report did not make any adverse recommendations against any party seniors.
However, the President sought to include his nemesis Mahinda Rajapaksa too in the bond saga by saying that the Commission had noted that there was malpractice from 2008 and the EPF lost most of its money during the Rajapaksa-era. (COLOMBO, Jan 4, 2018)