SEC must be brought under parliament: UNP
Aug 20, 2012
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should be brought under the control of Parliament after amending the existing laws, the main opposition United National Party (UNP) said yesterday.

UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne said his party was of the view that laws should be amended to make the SEC more independent and parliament should be authorized to appoint the SEC Chairman and the members. “Its independence could then be ensured more effectively,” he said. Mr. Wickramaratne said such action was necessary in addition to the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe market manipulations.

He said no respectable person would be prepared to function as SEC Chairperson because its credibility had been damaged as a result of its present setup where the Executive was able to apply undue influence on the person holding the office.

Mr. Wickramaratne made these comments amid reports that former SEC Chairman Tilak Karunaratne had been pressured by top government officials to go easy on some Colombo Stock Market players who were alleged to have been involved in manipulating the market.

He said Mr. Karunaratne was not the only one who was prevented from performing the duties of SEC Chairperson. Previous Chairperson Indrani Sugathadasa had also resigned saying she was unable to perform her duties in accordance with her conscience.

Mr. Wickramaratne said Mr. Karunaratne’s resignation was the result of the repealing of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and replacing it with the 18th Amendment in 2010.

He said even the COPE Chairman and Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera had also stressed the need for converting the SEC into an independent body. This was what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had also stressed by expressing concern over the resignation of Mr. Karunaratne and mentioning 17 instances of market manipulation.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka