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Sunday June 26th, 2022

Bond inquiry report would be tabled in Sri Lanka parliament: Harsha

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – An inquiry report into a controversial 30-year bond auction would be tabled in parliament as promised by the administration, Deputy Economy Minister Harsha de Silva said.

"The report will be tabled in parliament early this week," de Silva said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe had promised parliament that the inquiry report would be tabled and members could then accept the report or ask for another investigation or action against those responsible.

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran whose son-in-law’s firm benefitted from the deal went on leave during the inquiry.

De Silva said he was not aware of any decision on the date of Mahendran’s return to work.

He was one the first ruling party members to promise an investigation to the controversial deal.

However the failure to act quickly as well as statements by other senior figures that appeared to defend the 30-year bond sale, made the issue snowball into a major political millstone around the neck of the new administration with the opposition gleefully firing on all cylinders.

De Silva told an interview with Sri Lanka’s MTV channel recently that it was not his intention to whitewash the deal, when asked about the negative political fallout from the bond deal.

"I have never said that on the face of it (balloo balmerter) that nothing wrong has happened," de Silva said.

"People also said I will get into trouble for what I have been saying. That also has not happened.

"These things have happened for a long time, through these issues were brought out in parliament and in the media earlier but no action was taken. This time the parliament will be able to take action."

Sri Lanka’s opposition dominated parliament is to be dissolved soon.

In a statement on the report, the Policy Planning Ministry said Sunday the committee of inquiry could not find a ‘direct role’ of Governor Mahendran in the deal.

The committee had called for a full probe on the incident where Perpetual Treasuries had made large bids through state-run Bank of Ceylon of running into billions of rupees as well as on its own account.

De Silva was one of the vocal critics of corrupt actions of the last regime, particularly the Central Bank, and helped win votes for the administration.


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