Sri Lanka PM perpetuates conflict of interest in bond report study

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a panel to study the bond commission report, but the man put in charge of the initiative has triggered another unsavoury case of conflict of interest.

The man who was forced to resign his law and order portfolio after he defended the controversial Avant Garde company in parliament, Tilak Marapana, was put in charge of a United National Party panel to study the bond report.

Making a special statement on Thursday, the Prime Minister said the Marapana panel will recommend any action to be taken against party members implicated in the 1,154-page report written after an 11-month inquiry.

Marapana quit in disgrace after he was found to have represented  Avant Garde wand also advised the attorney general on how to proceed against the company.  (See related story here:)

Once the conflict of interest was known, Wickremesinghe compelled Marapana’s resignation, but he was reinstated when Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake was asked to step down in August 2017 over his links to the bond scam.

Apart from having been hauled up once over a conflict of interest case, Marapana’s brother, Gamini, was the lawyer representing Perpetual Treasuries Limited at the centre of the bond probe.

Wickremesinghe could not have found a worst candidate to study the bond report except getting Pepetual’s Arjun Aloysius or his father-in-law, disgraced former governor Arjuna Mahendran.

The bond commission has recommended that action be taken to recover a loss of 668 million rupees to the state from both Aloysius and Mahendran. (COLOMBO, January 19, 2018)

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