Rs 2.5 m from Perpetual was sponsorship for Law Asia Confab, says BASL | Sunday Observer

Rs 2.5 m from Perpetual was sponsorship for Law Asia Confab, says BASL

Responding to claims that the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had in 2016 received a sum of Rs 2.5 million from Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., (PTL) the primary dealer at the centre of the alleged bond scam, its President U. R. de Silva said the transaction was for a sponsorship obtained legally and accounted for.

“There is nothing extraordinary about this,” the BASL President told Sunday Observer yesterday, after news broke over the weekend that the company associated with Arjun Aloysius, currently in police custody for his role in the controversial Treasury Bond auction had also provided money to the country’s premier legal association.

“Monies were taken for the 2016 Law Asia Conference. Persons and committees handling the matter were instructed to canvass and find the necessary finances,” de Silva said.

De Silva claimed that at the time, Perpetual Treasuries was not under investigation.

However, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), an oversight committee of parliament chaired by JVP MP Sunil Handunetti commenced its investigation into the controversial T-Bond auction in 2015. The controversial bond auction, Aloyisus, his father in law Arjuna Mahendran and Perpetual Treasuries were also hot-button topics during the August 2015 parliamentary polls. De Silva says, however, that the money from Perpetual Treasuries was just a sponsorship. “There is nothing more or less to this,” he added. At the time BASL received the monies from the controversial company, there was no active investigation into Perpetual Treasuries and the company’s involvement was not in the limelight, he claimed.

The Inaugural committee which was entrusted with finding for sponsorships needed for the inaugural ceremony had obtained it. The inauguration committee on their own canvassed for sponsorships and obtained the money which was then used for these tasks which was later duly accounted for. The financial report presented to the Ex-Co committee the Bar Association indicates that they obtained a sum of Rs. 2.5 million as a sponsorship by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. The Attorney General and the CID have made explosive revelations in Court recently, pointing to several top politicos who had received campaign contributions from the company at the centre of the bond scam. According to revelations in court so far, SLFP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera and UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe had both been recipient of donations from the controversial firm.