Monday June 18, 2018

Sri Lanka ex-finance minister: 'I have nothing to hide'

Jul 28, 2017 09:13 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT  - Sri Lanka's ex-Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said he will provide answers to a Presidential Commission probing a complex and widening scam in government securities under the current administration.

"Nothing has happened to those of the previous regime who destroyed this country," Karunanayake, now foreign minister said.

"But a minister of our Government goes before an Independent Commission. This is the transparency of the rule of the Good Governance."

Minister Karunanayake said he was summoned on a day of the cabinet meeting this week and could not comply.

"There is nothing to hide. …I will answer before the Commission on these matters at the correct time. Then, the truth will be exposed to the entire county," he said.

The commission is inquiring into alleged rigged bond auctions during 2015 and 2016, which benefited Perpetual Treasuries, connected to Arjuna Aloysius, son-in-law then Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

The commission had also started questioning Saman Kumara, a dealer at the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) who is alleged to have bought the bonds at high prices from Perpetual Treasuries, allowing the firm to make billions of rupees of profits.

There have been allegations involving the Perpetual group and EPF dealers during the last regime as well, and there were strong objections to the appointment of Mahendran to the central bank.

At a recent hearing, the commision was told that Perpetual Treasuries had paid the lease of an apartment for Minister Karunanayake. The apartment had later being bought by a company connected to the minister.


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