Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last week charged the general public had been deprived of earning adequate returns due to the previous system of selling majority of Treasury Bonds via direct placements to captive sources such as EPF, ETF, and NSB instead of holding public auctions. Addressing a press conference last week, the Prime Minister, whilst acknowledging he had ordered the deviation in the system as the subject Minister, however, promised that a new Parliamentary Committee will continue investigating the controversial Treasury bond auction and a report on it presented to the legislature within three months.
“If anyone is found guilty, I have no problem in taking action. I am not related to anyone so I have no problem in canceling the license of Perpetual Treasuries,” Wickremesinghe said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister alleged that the former Member of Parliament, D E W Gunasekera’s recent statements to the media in relation to the COPE investigation is in contravention of Parliament Powers and Privileges Act as the Act prohibits the publication of any proceedings in any Committee of Parliament before they report to the House.
In addition, Wickremesinghe said the media is also guilty of publishing a false and perverted report of the proceedings of a Committee of Parliament and punishable under Section 22 of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act (Schedule A Item 5 and Schedule B Item 9).
“There was only a draft presented by D E W Gunasekera. It was not accepted by the Sub Committee. Hence there is neither a report nor an interim draft by the Sub Committee. At the time Gunasekera made the statement to the media, he had ceased to be a Member of Parliament and was not the Chairman of COPE.
He has passed himself off as Chairman of COPE and presented his own document purporting to be the interim draft report of the Committee. This action of his is a contravention of Section 22 of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act,” Wickremesinghe said in a letter addressed to the Secretary General of Parliament.