Dayasiri’s dilemma | Daily News

Dayasiri’s dilemma

Kurunegala District SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, in trying to justify his acceptance of Rs. one million from Walter & Row Associates, owned by Perpetual Treasuries, of which Arjun Aloysius is the main stakeholder, has, in the process, left many questions unanswered. Jayasekera, together with 16 other SLFP MPs, quit the Yahapalanya Government, the other day, following the abortive No Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Their raison d’etre for doing so was the alleged involvement of Premier Wickremesinghe in the Treasury Bond matter. Of the 16, Jayasekera was the most vociferous in insisting that Wickremesinghe steps down. He, together with his colleagues, claimed that they could not sit in the same Cabinet with an individual who was tainted.

This selfsame Dayasiri Jayasekera, though, thought nothing of accepting Rs. one million from the same source, who, according to Jayasekera and Co, committed daylight robbery by siphoning off Rs. 12 billion from the Central Bank and was the main cause of the NCM against the PM.

Making a statement in parliament, Jayasekera took great pains to explain that it was the done thing for businessmen to contribute to the campaign fund of politicians during elections and his was not a case in isolation. Jayasekera also says that he has a business relationship with Aloysius.

Well, 2015 was not the only election the MP faced. Hence, this cannot be the only occasion that Jayasekera was the recipient of Aloysius’s largess. Jayasekera himself will admit that this expose came by pure accident. He was also the North Western Province Chief Minister and could not have had any compunction of availing himself of the generosity of Aloysius, and, indeed, other businessmen. Jayasekera, in trying to wriggle himself from a bad situation has shot his foot and put it in his mouth. He says that although he received the cheque from Walter & Row Associates he could not remember whether it was signed by Aloysius. What difference did it make? Aloysius’s link with the firm is only all too well known?

Jayasekera also says that he received this cheque during the 2015 General Election campaign and it was dated July 13. This was the time that news of the two alleged Bond scams was very much in the public domain and when members of the Joint Opposition were going to town with it. Yet, Jayasekera, who took moral high ground and wanted Premier Wickremesinghe to step down over the alleged bond scam thought nothing of accepting Rs. one million for his election campaign from the same source whose name was widely bandied about in connection with the ‘Central Bank robbery’. Does Jayasekera want the public to believe that he was completely in the dark as to Aoysious’s role in the scam when he (Jayasekera) accepted the money at a time his colleagues in the Joint Opposition were hammering away making it the chief election issue? The first scam is said to have taken place in February and the other in April and Jayasekera receives the cheque in July. In the intervening period, all hell broke loose with the likes of Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila talking of nothing else other than the maha benku mankollaya, committed by Arjun Aloysius. What is more, Jayasekera himself was making common cause with their lot and also chaired press conferences to denounce Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. Yet, accepting Rs. one million from Aloysius was par for the course for Jayasekera, while the former was being exposed.

The height of hypocrisy was yet to come when Jayasekera left the government unwilling to sit in the Cabinet with a ‘tainted’ Prime Minister. The MP owes an explanation to the public as to why he chose to remain silent about receiving Rs. one million from Aloysius after the latter’s link with the alleged Treasury Bond scam was virtually an open secret.

Dayasiri Jayasekera was one of those who was breathing fire and brimstone finding fault with Ravi Karunanayake for having Aloysius pay his apartment rent which was also Rs.one million (per month). One fails to see the difference in Jayasekera accepting Rs. one million and Karunanayake availing himself of the largess of the same source. Those in glasshouses should not throw stones.

Jayasekera also, with nonchalance, says that he himself did not cash Alysius’s check personally and that it was done by a third party at a bank in Kurunegala. By this Jayasekera creates the impression that Rs. one million was not that big a sum for him to have it cashed himself and even if the cheque had gone missing it was of no consequence to him. Jayasekera, indeed, may have accumulated a vast amount of money during his election campaign, curtsy businessmen, to treat a sum as large as Rs. one million with such disdain.

Jayasekera, now that he has been badly exposed, should apologize to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for painting the latter black with regard to the Central Bank Bond issue while all the time concealing his own connection with the party responsible, and, what is more, benefiting from him. 


 

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