Anika Wijesuriya, this morning told the Commission to inquire into the Bond Scandal that, her super luxury apartment at the Monarch Residencies was taken on lease by Arjun Aloysius who paid for it on behalf of the then finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
Minster Foreign Affairs and Lotteries Ravi and his wife Mela – Photo via his Facebook
Giving evidence before the commission, Wijesuriya said that she owned the apartment, and had wanted to give it on rent since she does not live there. She said that she was working on the Weligama Marriot hotel built by her family and that she was based there.
When deciding to give it on rent, Karunanayake’s wife Mela had called the brother of Anika who had then put her in touch with Anika.
The wife of the minister had then arrived at the apartment to inspect the apartment with two bodyguards. Thereafter she had taken a call and told the witness that “a person known to both of us will be here”. Anika is a former student of the Colombo International School.
A shortwhile after, Arjun Aloysius had arrived at the apartment. Thereafter following discussions the witness said it was clear that Arjun was going to pay the rent for the house in which the Karunanayakes were moving into.
The apartment was identified as 5PH2.
The entire lease amounting close to 9 million was paid for by a company named Walter and Rowe which Arjun and his father Geoff are both Directors. It is a fully owned subsidiary of the holding company of Perpetual treasuries.
Anika told the commission that she had quoted a high price given the fact that the apartment was furnished and that it was ready to be occupied. She said the usual rate for rent per month for such luxurious penthouses is around 8000USD.
Anika is the daughter of Nahil Wijesuriya.
Thereafter the Karunanayakes had moved into the apartment after which the daughter of the Minister and the witness had developed a close relationship, the witness said.
Accordingly, following the end of the lease period of 6 months, which commenced in February 2016, the Karunanayakes had decided to buy the apartment. Their family company of which Mela and the daughter are Directors had paid 165 million rupees and purchased the apartment the witness said.
The witness also said that Arjun Aloysius had called her last week and insisted that she destroyed the lease agreement. She said that she had decided against it.
She also said that the current Minister of Foreign Affairs Ravi Karunanayake had called her father Nikhil last week.
The witness said that she knew that the information on the transaction had been found out by the investigators when officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) visited her in March this year.
The witness Anika, provided her name as Muthukudarachchige Vinodini in order to protect her identity during testimony.
Deputy Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda led the evidence.