Speaker remains indecisive

Releasing report on bond scam:


By Saman Indrajith

A final decision on Auditor General’s report on the alleged Treasury bond scam would be taken after a meeting with Attorney General, Auditor General and incumbent Governor of the Central Bank, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament yesterday.

Speaker Jayasuriya said that he had already discussed the matter with COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti.

The Speaker said that he had received a complete report of the Auditor General’s investigation into the bond scandal and each member of the COPE had been given a copy of the summarized version of the report.

He said that secrecy of the content of the report would be maintained not to disrupt the ongoing investigation into the bond issue.

Speaker Jayasuriya said so responding to a question raised by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who demanded to know what action the Speaker would take with regard to the findings by the Auditor General.

Speaker Jayasuriya: A copy of the summarized version of the report has been kept in the library with the permission of COPE chairman for the use of all MPs.

Chief Opposition Whip: But, the complete investigation report running over 1,200 pages is still with the Speaker. When a report is given to the Speaker it means that it had been presented to Parliament. There is nothing wrong in releasing the complete report to the MPs.

Speaker: It is a confidential report. I have to find out whether it can be released to the MPs. I would raise that with a meeting with the Attorney General, Auditor General and incumbent Governor of the Central Bank. I want to make sure that making public the content a confidential report would not adversely impact on the ongoing investigations of the COPE.

Leader of the House Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella: We have only received the report. The investigation is still in progress. Therefore, we cannot release the report.

Chief Opposition Whip: I am talking of something else. You (pointing at Minister Kiriella) talk of some other issue. This happens when one barges into a conversation.

Speaker Jayasuriya: A concise report of the issue has already been given to COPE members.

Leader of the House: I did not speak without listening. I have been listening to all what you said. There is no decision yet whether the COPE would accept the AG’s report or not. We would talk of the future course of action only after the COPE accepts it.

Chief Opposition Whip: The Speaker understood what I tried to communicate. There is no point in talking to you.

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