By Amrit Muttukumaru –
An open letter to Editor, ‘Daily FT’ on selective exposé of bank & other wrongdoing
Mr. Nisthar Cassim
12 December 2019
Dear Mr. Cassim,
Selective Exposé of Bank & Other Wrongdoing
It is hugely disappointing that Sri Lanka’s only stand–alone finance and business journal ‘Daily FT’ is selective in its exposé of alleged corporate and professional misdemeanor. The focus of this article will be on some glaring examples related to commercial banks and CBSL ‘Bank Supervision’.
Given below is the link to the article “Exposé: Hatton National Bank Robs Customers And Auctions Their Properties” published in the ‘Colombo Telegraph’ on 10 December 2019 for your necessary attention:
This has been of no apparent interest to ‘Daily FT’ as was my article “Governor Indrajit’s Stewardship – Hiding Forensic Audits & Other Issues”
Given below is the link to my said article published in the ‘Colombo Telegraph’ on 5 December 2019: (click here)
There has been no response to date from Governor Coomaraswamy who you have described as “Highly respected” when reporting his resignation with effect from 20 December.
Alleged HNB Tax Evasion
The ‘Daily FT’ has also shown no interest in pursuing the alleged ‘HNB Tax Evasion’ which was brought to the attention of CBSL Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as far back as 25 September 2017 to no avail. This was included in my said article.
My e-mail in this connection to Jonathan Alles – HNB Managing Director/CEO dated 10 November 2017 has been completely ignored by him.
In the context of the allegation that then “chairman of the bank Rani Jayamaha has also been able to identify the wrongdoing through an internal probe” I requested Jonathan Alles to confirm:
“(i) whether an “internal probe” took place? (ii) whether it identified any “wrongdoing”? (iii) if so, what were the specific instances of “wrongdoing”? (iv) what action was taken against those responsible for any “wrongdoing”?
You could easily get to the bottom of the damning allegations concerning HNB as your regular columnist Dinesh Weerakkody described as a ‘thought leader’ is the incumbent HNB Chairman (previously Chairman, Commercial Bank). You are seen with him as a ‘moderator’ in ‘Fireside Chats’ with leading business personalities.
Other issues in my said article connected to CBSL ‘Bank Supervision’ relate to NDB Bank and Sampath Bank.
In my article I posed the question “Is there anything in common between the alleged ‘HNB Tax Evasion’ and the alleged NDB misdemeanor?”
The antics of the ‘Daily FT’ is no surprise given the shameful conduct of its sister newspaper ‘Daily Mirror’. This includes falsely claiming that an almost full page article (with large colour photo) was ‘Courtesy’ of the ‘London Times’. Its relatively unnoticeable ‘Clarification’ which referred to a mere “inadvertence” was belatedly published as a result of my persistence. The readers to date are unaware of the actual ‘source’ of this article! The owner of your publishing company (‘Wijeya Newspapers Limited’) was the Chairman of the ‘Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka’ at that time. This is merely the tip of the iceberg!
It is my personal view that under the circumstances, ‘Colombo Telegraph’ is doing an invaluable service to the people of Sri Lanka. It is also my opinion that some columnists in the mainstream media fight shy of contributing to ‘Colombo Telegraph’ fearing the opening of a ‘can of worms’ in the ‘comments’ section!
(Public Interest Activist)