Sufficient attention not being paid to PTL exploiting state financial sector – DEW stresses at meeting chaired by President

PTL borrowed billions of Rupees from state banks


Communist Party General Secretary D. E. W. Gunasekera speaking at a meeting convened by President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday to explain measures taken by his government since he received the Bond Commission report on Dec 30, 2017 (Pic by Chandana Perera).

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Former Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) D. E. W. Gunasekera yesterday told a meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena that sufficient attention hadn’t been paid to the Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) borrowing billions from the state sector to meet government financial requirements.

The Communist Party General Secretary alleged that the public hadn’t been made aware of the brazen exploitation of the state institutions by the PTL. Although the Presidential Commission had mentioned the PTL operations in this regard, that hadn’t helped raise sufficient public awareness of the sheer magnitude of the bond scams.

Gunasekera later told The Island that he was referring to the Bank of Ceylon and the Central Bank funding PTL to the tune of Rs. 10 bn and Rs 40 bn, respectively, in 2015 and 2016.

The meeting took place at the Presidential Secretariat with the participation of Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya, PC, Governor Central Bank Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy and DG, Bribery Commission Sarath Jayamanne, PC.

Gunasekera explained how a three-member committee appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had cleared the then CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran before he (DEW) undertook an investigations on the directions of the then Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.

The veteran politician said he had strongly objected to the second COPE report being referred to the Attorney General’s Department. He said the call for appointing a presidential commission, comprising two Supreme Court judges, had been first made by him.Pointing out that the PTL had initially invested Rs. 300 mn, Gunasekera asked whether those present at the meeting chaired by the President heard of any enterprise here or abroad making profits in billions in so short a period of time. Gunasekera stressed that no legal operation would help make such massive profits.

Presidential Secretary Austin Fernando asserted that those who had earned as much as Rs. 5 bn profits could spend a billion rupees to do away with the vital documents.

The meeting was also told that certain confidential documents couldn’t be revealed as such a course of action would hamper judicial investigations.

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