Sri Lanka’s UNP to suspend Ravi as Assistant Leader over bondscam findings
ECONOMYNEXT – Ex-finance minister Ravi Karunanayake, who a commission of inquiry into a securities scam referred to legal authorities for possible bribery and perjury charges, should not be assistant leader until he is cleared or legal proceedings are over, the United National Party said.
A statement from General Secretary Kabir Hashim said a committee that until the Attorney general or the Bribery Commission decides not to file chargers or if chargers are filed " steps should be taken to ensure that Mr Ravi Karunanayake should not exercise any duties as an Assistant Leader of the United National Party."
The commission inquired in to securities scam involving the purchase of long bonds at low prices from rigged bond auctions conducted by the central bank and dumping them on the Employees Provident Fund and other state funds connected to Arjuna Aloysius, son-in-law of then Governor Ajurna Mahenndran.
Evidence before the commission also found that members of a parliament committee that probed the scam involving Perpetual Treasuries, a primary dealer in government securities and the central bank, had had telephone conversations with Aloysius.
Sujeewa Senansinghe had had 36 incoming calls and 26 outgoing calls, Harshana Rajakaruna 14 incomig and 10 outgoing, Hector Appuhamy 14 incoming and 10 outgoing. Members Ajith Perera and Dayasiri Jayasekera has had 1 incoming and outgoing call each.
The full statement is reproduced below:
Statement Issued by Hon. Kabir Hashim, General Secretary – United National Party
In the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the issuance of Treasury Bonds, there are no findings against any member of the United National Party including Mr Ravi Karunanayake in regard to the issuance of Treasury Bonds. But, however, the Commission of Inquiry has decided that the Attorney General and the Bribery Commission should determine whether action should be taken against Mr Ravi Karunanayake, MP, under the Bribery Act or other appropriate legislation in respect of their findings that he had derived a substantial benefit from the lease payments made by Walt and Row Associates (Pvt) Ltd., which is an associate company of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., which is owned and controlled by the same persons who owned and controlled Perpetual Treasuries Ltd.
The Commission has also stated that the Hon. Attorney General or other appropriate authorities could also consider whether the evidence given by Mr Ravi Karunanayake is shown to have been incorrect and in that case whether there are grounds for prosecution under Section 179 and or under Section 188 of the Penal Code or other relevant provisions of the law, read with Section 9 the Commission of Inquiry Act No. 17 of 1948.
In view of this, the Committee appointed by Hon. Leader of the United National Party has recommended that until a finality is reached by the Attorney General and/or the Bribery Commission that no legal action is to be filed against Mr Ravi Karunanayake or if such action is instituted, until the conclusion of such action, steps should be taken to ensure that Mr Ravi Karunanayake should not exercise any duties as an Assistant Leader of the United National Party.
The Report will be presented to the Working Committee to be held in mid February.
January 31, 2018