Sri Lanka under-fire CB Governor’s fate to be decided by President and PM: Kabir

ECONOMYNEXT – The fate of Sri Lanka’s controversial Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran who is under fire over a bond auction rigging and insider dealing scandal will be decided by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a senior Minister said.

"It is the mandate of the president to appoint the governor," State Enterprise Minister and General Secretary of Sri Lanka’s United National Party Kabir Hashim told reporters.

"I believe the President and the Prime Minister will discuss the question. We are awaiting for the decision."

Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s term of office runs out at the end of month, and activists are pressing the administration not to re-appoint him and have also petitioned courts.

The United National Party has also come under fire protecting him, while the other main coalition partner Sri Lanka Freedom Party has said he should be removed, over alleged rigging of bond auctions to benefit the firm of his son-in-law.

Minister Hashim said it was not correct to say that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was protecting him because Mahendran was his friend.

"It was not because of friendship that he was appointed. He had qualifications," Hashim said.

"There are now charges being made against him from some quarter. So some problems are there (yum yum prashna). There is no undue pressure. We as a party is also saying the President and Prime Minister should decide.

"So they will take a suitable decision. Just because some ministers want officials cannot be removed. There is a system how a person is appointed or removed.

"If there are official charges steps will be taken. That is good governance. (Ethumarter nilawashayen chodana thiyanawanam eker hariyater kriyathmaker wevi. Ekar yahalapanaya)."

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Activists who helped bring the current administration told reporters Monday, the actions of the central bank was a black mark against the principles of good governance and was like a pail of milk tainted with cow dung. (Colombo/June21/2016)

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