Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva in conversation with Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Thilak Karunaratne at the Certificate and Diploma Awards Ceremony 2015, organised by the Capital Market Education and Training (CMET) and the SEC - Pic by Lasantha Kumara
By Madushka Balasuriya
Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, once a vocal critic against the stock market mafia, on Friday expressed disappointment over the progress in punitive action but vowed justice would be meted out more swiftly under a permanent government post elections.
“Numerous allegations have been made of stockbrokers complicit with investors manipulating the market – pumpingshares, dumping them on various State institutions and so on. I am disappointed that we have still not made sufficient progress in making sure that we have done the expected job in dealing with those people who acted in ways that contravened the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Act,” said De Silva.
He was speaking as Chief Guest at the Certificate and Diploma Awards Ceremony 2015, organised by the Capital Market Education and Training (CMET) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka on Friday.
“What happened to those who breached that Act? Where are the files, cases filed against these people?” asked the Deputy Minister, referring to the one of the more pronounced failures of the new regime in bring white collar criminals to justice, adding that it had allowed some to say that “none of these allegations were ever true”.
De Silva called on the SEC, the Colombo Stock Exchange and Attorney General’s Department to see how they could “speed up” this process, so as to “rebuild the confidence in the market”.
He assured that come 17 August, the UNF coalition would bring to book those who had so far evaded justice.
“If people think they don’t have a fair chance of making money in the capital market, then people will not invest in it. The allegation is that it is cornered by a few. Maybe a couple of hundred people, essentially, are the main players in this market,” warned De Silva, regarding the implications of a lack of faith in the market.