Did President’s Sec. take everyone for a ride by sealing PCoI report in archives?

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Although the President’s Secretary, Austin Fernando states that interested parties can obtain the full Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) report on the bond scam from the National Archives, those documents had an embargo of 30 years, Executive Director of the campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said.

"I made a call to the President’s Secretary who informed me that I can obtain the full PCoI report from the archives. This is what he had told SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera on Wednesday. However when CaFFE officials visited the National Archives to inquire how to obtain those documents; they were informed that according to the National Archives law reports of PCoIs are not open to the public for 30 years," he said.

Tennakoon however said the President’s Secretary had the power to make those documents available to the public. Thus Fernando had the power to make the entire PCoI report on the Bond Scam available to the public.

"When I spoke to him, he said he has no reason to conceal this document. He now has the chance to show that through actions and I have sent him a letter asking him to make the entire document public. From what I know neither the Attorney General nor the Bribery Commission has requested to remove these documents from the public eye. By putting an embargo of 30 years, the government is only protecting those behind the scam," he said.

Meanwhile SLFP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekera said that he would attempt to get the report through a Right to Information application.

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