Sri Lanka ex-CB Governor forced EPF boss to appoint Saman Kumara: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had pressured the head of a retirement fund to appoint a dealer with a controversial past, a media report on the proceedings of a commission of inquiry said.

Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror newspaper said A Jayalath, Superintend of the Employees Provident Fund, had been asked by then Governor Mahendran to appoint Saman Kumara a controversial dealer to the front office.

Saman Kumara is alleged to have bought bonds from Perpetual Treasuries, a firm connected to Mahendran’s son-in-law Arjun Aloysius, at high prices through pre-arranged deals.

Saman Kumara had been transferred in to the EPF in June 2015, and Jayalath had assigned him to risk management duties. He

 had been concerned because staff had alerted him about several controversial deals involving Saman Kumara when he was at the EPF earlier.

One June 08, ex-Governor Mahendran had scolded him saying he had sent a Chartered Financial Analyst qualified person to the EPF and to appoint him to the Front office, the report said.

In October 2015 two officials in the front office were transferred. He had asked for experienced persons but Governor Mahendran had asked him to use Saman Kumara instead.

The report quoted Jayalath as saying that Saman Kumara frequently visited Governor Mahendran office and it was unethical to discuss EPF decisions with the Governor.

The then Governor had also asked him to intensify secondary market operations.





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