26 June, 2022


Parliamentary Debate On Forensic Audit Reports: Only Two Constructive Suggestions

By W A Wijewardena

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

A debate without substance

I spent two afternoons last week in watching the live debate on the forensic audit reports by Sri Lanka’s Parliamentarians. Sadly, there were only two Parliamentarians who made constructive suggestions that should merit attention of the people. One was Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka. The other was Parliamentarian Rauf Hakeem. All others looked at the forensic audit reports through the political colour of the party to which they have pledged their allegiance.

Ranawaka’s admission of the conflicting role being played by the Monetary Board

Ranawaka, though he was not completely free from party lines in his analysis, used the latter part of his speech to draw attention of Parliament to a structural problem faced by the Monetary Board when performing its duties by the nation. It is the issue of conflicting objectives which previous Parliaments had given to it. The foremost function of the Monetary Board was to deliver an inflation free world to Sri Lankans together with a stable financial system. They have been enshrined in the Monetary Law Act under which the Monetary Board has been incorporated and the institution called the central bank has been established as ‘economic and price stability’ and ‘financial system stability’.

Two other functions which Parliament has assigned to the Board are directly in conflict with these two stability objectives. One was the raising of loans for the Government at the cheapest cost possible. The other was to manage the Employees Provident Fund or EPF and give its members the highest benefit possible. Ranawaka saw the weakness in this arrangement and suggested that Parliament should consider freeing the Board of these conflicting functions.

Hakeem canvasses for an independent Central Bank

Hakeem did not take a party line when he addressed Parliament. The charges and counter-charges levelled by the Government party and the main opposition against each other was similar, according to him, to the proverbial ‘the pot calling the kettle black’. Refraining himself from talking about the results, he dug deep into the cause of the alleged malpractices that have been the topic of discussion.

His diagnosis zeroed on a single virus that had been inserted to the Central Bank by successive governments. That was to appoint ‘politically exposed persons’ to the highest position of the Bank. It effectively converted the Central Bank to a politicised animal that was ready to be a yielding hand to the wishes of politicians. He, therefore, suggested that both sides of Parliament should get together and make the Bank an independent institution free from political interferences. Going forward, he also suggested that EPF too should be placed under the management of professional fund managers who are able to meet the fiduciary requirements involved in managing monies belonging to other people.

These suggestions are not new

Both these Parliamentarians have made suggestions which I have been arguing for a long time. In fact, when the Central Bank underwent its modernisation program during 2000 to 2004, the suggestion was to take both the public debt and EPF away from the bank and introduce a new central banking law making it independent. Public debt was to be handed to an independent debt authority that functioned under the Ministry of Finance.

The proposal for the reform of EPF was much wider than what both Ranawaka and Hakeem have suggested. It was proposed to set up a Social Security Board of Sri Lanka by amalgamating EPF and Employees Trust Fund or ETF, on one side, and placing all those miscellaneous pension schemes which were dependent on the Treasury for funding under its charge, on the other.

By early 2004, several teams of experts within the Central Bank had finalised the draft legislations and the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe that was in power had agreed to go for the proposed changes. However, with the change in the government in April 2004, all these reforms were shelved and it is after 16 years that they have resurfaced, not from anyone from the two main political parties but from two leaders belonging to minor political parties. But they are suggestions worthy of being pursued.

The conflict of interest in performing the three functions

Apparently, not many understand the conflict which the Monetary Board has got from the three functions which have been assigned to it by Parliament. The Monetary Board’s prime responsibility has been to keep inflation close to a zero level. When inflation rises, the people who hold the money issued by the Bank will find that they could now buy a smaller basket of goods for a unit of money. It would make them poorer in terms of the welfare level they are enjoying.

The solution has been to neutralise inflationary pressures by increasing interest rates and cutting down credit levels. But that course of action will go against its responsibility towards the government for raising debt at the lowest possible cost. Thus, faced with a dilemma, the Board will have to push down the interest rates applicable to government securities. But it will go against its responsibility towards the members of EPF. This type of manipulation of interest rates which the Board does for the sake of the government has been the main reason for forensic auditors to charge the Board that it has caused losses to government especially in the pre-2015 period. More about this later.

Parking of EPF in the wrong place 

As I have pointed out earlier, EPF was housed in the Central Bank as a temporary measure by the Bandaranaike government in 1958. At least, this was what was told to the late N.U. Jayawardena who was the first Ceylonese Governor of the Bank but in 1958 was a Senator when he protested against the planned move. But this promise of freeing the Monetary Board of the responsibility for running a social security fund was forgotten soon and the temporary assignment became a permanent one over the years.

On many occasions when there were suggestions to take EPF away from the Central Bank, it was the organised trade union sector that made objections to it. This was because, albeit there were some minor hiccups, trade unions had the full trust in the Monetary Board for protecting the monies belonging to the working population of the country. Thus, any move to take EPF out of the Monetary Board should receive the consent of the organised trade unions.

EPF reforms should be a part of a broad reform of the social security system 

But the reform should not be just to take EPF away from the Monetary Board and hand over to another body. It should be a broad one like the proposal made during 2000-4 referred to above. In this reform, both EPF and ETF should be amalgamated and numerous miscellaneous pension funds covering fishermen, farmers, etc. should be brought together. In this connection, one should remember that ETF was created in early 1980s not as a social security measure but as a way to allow the working population of the country to own private companies collectively. This was a move to adopt an economy-wide strategy to establish an Employee-Share-Ownership-Plan or ESOP.

Previously, individual companies had ESOPs to permit the workers in their companies to own shares of the company concerned and thereby become employee-cum-owners. ETF sought to establish an economywide ESOP with contributions made by employers on behalf of their employees. The ultimate objective of ETF was to narrow the income gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ and establish a socialist society through democratic means – a strategy known as ‘democratic socialism’. ETF was also expected to provide seed capital to start-up companies and thereby promote entrepreneurship among enterprising young Sri Lankans. But in practice what ETF did was to function as a source of funding for the government at cheap rates.

The multiplication of work by EPF and ETF 

But administratively, both ETF and EPF have become a burden to the economy not by duplicating but by ‘multiplicating’ the work. Both have to register employers and employees separately, receive monthly contributions separately, keep account separately, maintain computer systems separately, issue statements separately and pay back benefits separately. This is a waste of resources, on the one hand, and an additional inconvenience to both employers and employees, on the other.

Hence, by amalgamating both institutions into a social security board and running ETF as the share market investment arm of the board, the objective of democratic socialism could still be attained. But as Hakeem has stressed in Parliament, this should be made free from political interferences and allowed to be managed by professional fund managers who have no political affiliations. In other words, the managers should not be ‘politically exposed-persons’. But at the same time, politicians should also be ‘nationally conscious-persons’.

Public debt is also an unwelcome guest at the Central Bank

To free the Monetary Board of its conflicting interest, public debt which was handed to it by Parliament in 1949 should also be divorced from it. As mentioned earlier, raising funds for the government at the cheapest cost interferes with the main objective of the Monetary Board to maintain an inflation free world. This specifically happens when inflation is rising and the Monetary Board, as a remedy, has to jack up interest rates in the economy. The action to be taken by the Monetary Board to accomplish both tasks may not be viewed later by those who would look at it only from one perspective. This happened with respect to the alleged loss calculations made by the forensic auditors during the pre-2015 period.

A childish loss calculation

When the forensic auditors interviewed me, I specifically mentioned to them that in 2007-8, the country was at a war, the government had drained all its resources for the war efforts, there was no prospect of raising funds from foreign bilateral or commercial sources, the domestic funding had dwindled and inflation was rising at about 20% per annum. They were also told that all attempts made by the Monetary Board to raise funds from foreign sources, including the tapping of Sri Lanka’s diaspora, proved ineffective.

The Monetary Board had the difficult task of controlling inflation and raising funds for the government. As a result, the front office of the Public Debt Department had been permitted to raise the needed funds from whatever the source available at prices acceptable to the Department. Hence, the forensic auditors were told that any attempt at calculating losses to government by using an imaginary price would not be appropriate.

Despite this explanation, they have gone ahead of coming up with a loss figure of Rs. 10.4 billion resulting from the genuine efforts of the officers who had worked at the Public Debt Department at that time. They did not stop at that and used the same defective methodology to put the losses to government in the post 2015 period at Rs. 9.6 billion and those to EPF at Rs. 8.7 billion in the entire period. Worse, the Parliamentarians on either side of the isle had used these numbers without bothering to find out how they had been arrived at to blast their political enemies.

In this connection, an observation reported to have been made by an anonymous person may be a learning experience for those Parliamentarians. He is said to have observed that ‘there are two things which people may not consume if they know how they are made. One is sausages and the other is statistics’.

An embarrassment to the Monetary Board

This has been an embarrassment to the Monetary Board and it is now required to explain to the people exactly what its perpetual predecessors had done in good faith. But the damage has already been done and what has been recorded in the minds of the people is inerasable now. This would not have happened had the public debt been handed to an independent debt authority as was suggested during 2000-4.

An independent Central Bank is for the citizens 

The independence of the Central Bank, as I have argued repeatedly in this column, is for building the trust of the people in its actions. As long as the Bank is subject to political manipulation, the people will not trust the monies it issues for use by them. Therefore, the Central Bank independence is not for politicians but for people. It is the independence of the citizens from unduly interference from politicians who desire the Bank to print money and help them finance budgets that basically allocate resources for unproductive purposes in the absence of a mechanism for deciding on priorities in the economy. In the long run, the country will be engulfed with inflation where all citizens have to bear the cost.

But there are some who have argued against an independent central bank. They normally present two arguments in support of their view. One is that both monetary policy and fiscal policy should work together to create wealth in a country. The other is that for a developing economy like Sri Lanka, a little bit of inflation is always desirable in the initial stage of economic development.

Money is not a real product but a mental thought 

Both these arguments are based on a misidentification of money’s role in an economy. Money as against a real good, say like rice, is only a mental notion without any real existence. It, therefore, assumes only a nominal role. That is the reason for calling everything measured in terms of money ‘nominal’, like nominal prices, nominal income or nominal interest rate and so on. It can facilitate the acquisition of a real good like rice or a house, if people are willing to use it to make payments for same.

Hence, in ushering economic prosperity, money is only a facilitator and not a real contributor. Real contribution, as the first Singaporean Finance Minister Dr. Goh Keng Swee said in 1991, comes from hard work done by people of all walks of life – students at schools, undergraduates at universities and workers at work places – and not from the money printed by the central bank.

In today’s context where the world is moving toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution or 4IR, it is not just hard work but ‘smart work’ that would bring prosperity to a country. Central banks can only facilitate this process by keeping price changes in check or keeping inflation within limits. The real contribution should come from the Government which is in a position to influence the real production of goods and services.

In this connection, both Ranawaka and Hakeem should be congratulated on and credited for making constructive suggestions.

*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at waw1949@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 3

    It is true, The central bank should be an independent body which is answerable to a broad committee of parliamentarians. But the committee can not be one like Parliamentary committee appointed by Mahinda Rajapakse to prosecute CJ Shirani Bandarsnaike or to prosecute, then just retired Army Commander or Ranil’s first COPE committee to which thieves were lecturing. Ranil supported it by giving another round of CAR PERMITS or the diluted report by thieves in the committee jotting down their comments.
    I do not think, Parliament did every thing according to the constitution. It is just an escape route. Pages can be written about the Sri Lankan parliament’s nakedness and the shameless. Their bickerings are not important. Solicitor General should be given strict instructions to prosecute thieves those have considerable evidence.
    A decent society would force those who are accused various crimes both civil and monetary frauds to resign or should be removed.
    When the leaders steal, they share it with subordinates too in order to accumulate files on them. That is one problem.
    Another problem politicians believe or made to believe THAT THE DEMOCRACY IS EVERY IDENTITY GROUP (e.g. youth, women, every sect of the muslims, every caste of tamils) in the society must be in the parliament irrespective of whether the person elected truly represent the whole identity group. So, they all need money to continue eventually the leader supporting legalized thefts and frauds.
    Instead, conduct peoples conversations similar to LLRC meetings (but not frauds like LLRC). Cut down the parliament to a lesser number to cut down many dysfunctional and corrupt practices.
    I do not trust judicial proceeding as sri Lanka has along way to go on that. Will see how determined the new president is to turn around the country.
    I am pretty sure electing Maithripala Sirisena was a well planned coup by the NGOs, funded by the International community.

    • 8

      Mr Wijewardhana, who was then one of the insider in CB (under BP Mahinda Rajaakshes govt) makes every efforts to mitigate the accussations levelled at BPs under MR authoritarian rule.
      And this guy is just beating around the bush for someone’s support… please guess who can that be.
      Good luck Mr Wije, you will have no longer the credibility of what you have to utter, longer you stay stuck to BPs, that have grabed the power to continue their high crimes today.

  • 2

    I think your analysis about Champika ranawaka is right. Because of very destructive sinister politics, people are not allowed to come within the system or inside parliament and that makes enemies who, sometimes become enemies to the country simply because cruelness in the parliament. because there are incompetent and crooked politicians who go with the sinister politics. I think Central bank should have employees some who have conscience.
    It looks there are judges who are with their conscience. Financial sector also has to be like that and not the EPF heads like or PTL like private companies. But, the assurance from politicians (not the sinister parliamentary politics) is important because they also have lives to live.

  • 0

    Which one did say” Pot should not call the Kettle black?.

    Regardless either of them I don’t think should be in Parliament, let alone advising us, the poor suckers who put our life savings in the EPF hoping to live at least above the Poverty Line after retirement.

    The intelligent folks can work out why both have no credential to be advisers.-

    With that Upper Medium Income Tag which the Yahapalana Rulers used to brag about although 30% of the inhabitants are still under Two Dollars a day Income. the Government now should be able to appoint an Independent Commission to run the Inhabitants Superannuation.
    And it is not Rocket Science.

    In order to do that we need to have decent Members of Parliament with decent people as PM and President .

    I am sure next Government will have those credentials and hope they establish an Independent Superannuation Commission.
    And an Independent Securities and Investments Commission to keep the CSX and its punters clean..

    Viyath Maga I am sure will have enough good qualified people to avoid importing big ass crooks like Dr Rani did during the last Government.

    Central Bank also must be Independent along the same lines.

    Again the problem is selecting the right people,
    I am sure Viyaath Maga can again step in to have an Independent Central Bank Board , which advises the Government and set Monetary Policy.

    Not call the Government Rulers to get advise like Dr Rani’s mates did during the last Government just before the closing time of the very first Yahapalana Sovereign Bonds Launch….

    • 2

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      I am totally disappointed with you pathetic lot.

      Trump is in Hindia.
      You should have sent Kamal, Shavendra, ………………. rest of the single handed smart patriotic rana-virus and Wimal windbag Weerawansa, Udhaya Ganapathippillai, Dinesh, Thondamany, Hela, soma, …………. romana, …to New Delhi and stick up their one finger to Trump as a mark of protest ….. up yours in return for the insult heaped on Shavendra Silva.

  • 13

    Hello Wijewardena,
    How can you expect inferior quality from Ranawaka? He is not someone like RW or Sajith, who are in those places because of their family power and money, or someone like MR who was a street thug, a cut throat who could not get through any exams without cheating (that is why all his off springs too are well known thugs and cheaters). Ranawaka is a real son of the soil, who earned his Engineering Degree after entering to University of Moratuwa, by a competitive exam (unlike Namal Rajapaksa’s law degree, or the PhD of rocket scientist other Rajapaksa). Ranawaka is one of the very few ministers who did very well whatever the task given, whatever the ministry he was in charge he made profits. Though people like Booruwansa try to sling mud at him using his personal life (which is not relevant to us at all), he is one of the few who did not rob the poor people’s money. He is a man with principles, a vision, capability to improve the economy, and with a good personality. Sri Lanka is so unfortunate, for whatever the reason last few decades we got corrupt, incapable, imbecile mutts as leaders. We always want to become like Singapore, but we forget the quality of Lee Kwan Yew; not only his education qualifications, but his commitment to wipe out the corruption. He started with putting his friends in jail for corruption. He made another minister friend to make the choice between the jail and suicide. Can you even dream of GR punishing the culprits of MIG deal, Central Bank deal, or Air bus deal? If he does that the whole Nation will respect him not only as an Officer and a Gentleman, but also as a WORLD CLASS LEADER, like LKY. If he does that I wonder where will Kabraal and you end up !!

    • 0

      Hello Suranga,

      According to my reading, In fact Mr Wijewardana has given Mr Ranawaka a tick for Superiority.

      My Elders tell me this Mr Ranawaka joined the UNP to contest the last Election mainly with the main aim of toppling Dr Rani and become the UNP Leader.

      Mr Ranwaka knew that the UNP which is the party of the Elite , Anglican and the Vellalas will never accept a commoner from Keselwatta as their Leader ever again..

      Specially after what Keselwatta Kid’s Daddy did to the UNP in the 90s by eliminating the best brains with the good breeding who were the leadership material, which UNP had gathered over a long period in the form of Dissanayakas, and Athlathmudalis .

      Although Ranawaka’s reading of the UNP was spot on , Ranawaka had Buckly’s of fulfilling his ambition because the Ex Royal Boys TEAM UNP which is now well entrenched in Srikotha will never take an outsider.
      They did not allow even the Son of one of their ex Presidents to have an Office there at the last Election…

      Mr Ranwaka is no Leadership Material ,
      He is an opportunist, with a capital O.
      Neither he is honest, Nor does he come across as a nice person in the eyes of the Electorate.

      All the Muck Mr Ranwaka and his best mate in the UNP Dr Rajitha picked from the gutter and threw at the Rajapakasa Regime.
      And all the bogus Court Cases the Duo cooked up with the FCID Boss in Dr Rani’s Office, with the help of that PC who cleared the Bnod Scammers have now come back to to hit them on the face.

      Now I believe Mr Ranawaka can’t even travel overseas because the Colombo Magistrate has been given an affidavit by Mr Ranaka’s Defender Driver on Camera about his driving the vehicle ,which made that young bikkie a cripple near the Kotte By Pass Bridge. ..

  • 5

    At the end of the day what has happened;
    1). Losses incured due to these frauds has to be born by the public.

    2). The presidential committee put forward by MS, the cost of it has to be born by the public

    3). The forensic audit which cost a huge amount has to be born by the public.

    Now we are watching parliment sessions regarding the same wasting our time and energy bills knowing deep inside there is nothing going to happen. It is the fault of the general public because why we are electing the same people into the parliment. If you have done so pay dearly.

    • 1

      “It is the fault of the general public because why are we electing the same people into Parliament?”
      When the orange robed shaven heads frighten them
      “if you don’t vote for the same people whom you
      voted in the last parliament the minorities will take over,” what other option do they have?

      • 0

        Thats how the minorities contribute to the downfall of the country. There act of racism paved the way for goons to come in. Some ask for federal. They dont know whats going to happen to them if federal is given. There would definetly be an uprising in the south, on that period they would know the real word of genocide though its the uglyest word one can think of.

  • 8

    Time and again WAW is making a thinly wailed attempt to absolve the perpetrators of the dastardly crime against the poor EPF ETF members tax payers of this country. We only know that when we buy a Cigarette at Rupees 60 we pay 50 tax and a bottle of Gul Arrack at Rupees 1200 rupees 1000 as tax. Thats the money stolen by the modern Bourgeoisie running about in expensive limousines educating their children in International schools and 15000 a plate weddings in 5 star hotels. I am reminded of the Marxist slogan ”Expropriators should be expropriated. ”

  • 11

    I did not realize who the auhor of this article was until I clicked on it to read it. Then I saw who it was I laughed. So Dr Wijewardena has written yet another disingenous piece to try and confuse the already confused asses so he and his mates can weasel their way out of being held accountable. Mark my words my dear Dr your days as a free man would have been numbered if only this country had a proper sensible democratic government. The amount of corruption uncovered by the five reports of the forensic audit is staggering. 90% of it was done under Cabraal’s watch as opposed to two trades deemed corrupt under the UNP government for which the culprits were arrested and charged while their assets were confiscated and returned to he treasury. After replacing the CB governor with Dr Indrajith Coomaraswami, the CB has been run with exemplary discipline with every cent accounted for and documented. These facts are also in the reports. As opposed to the two bond auctions determined to be corrupt under the UNP for which punishment was meted out how many bond auctions were deemed corrupt during your time my dear Doctor? Over 1000! That is in addition to the illegal stock market pumping and dumping scandal using EPF and ETF funds. ENTRUST another illegally appointed primary dealer under Cabraal’s watch made off with millions and millions and never got caught and is not even mentioned. It is owned by the Ratwatte sons the ace hooligans and thugs. This is the reality.

  • 0

    It is the parliament, I suppose which said, they selected two of the most recognized audit firms out of five. Audit firms study only the proposals made by the client who offered the contract. Not, who ever they are, say, that report is not constitutional or what ever. That proves how ignorant how incompetent, lethargic and stupid the parliament. They do not accept their own work. So, 15 million vote these people again to recycle most of those.
    Even the two supposed to be positive comments are not about the Audit report. It looks like the eliminating corrupts is a very long process. It is a fight for survival.
    At least one got bond scam profits. I suppose if the other also got profits he would have gone to Jail not because some stupid motor cyclist crashed onto him but because, he also became one like the most of the others.

  • 1

    in a short sweet by and by [ as the Christian funeral hymn clearly states ] no concrete legal action will be taken against any of the miscreants and they will be on bail till death do them apart.?
    even if there are cases being filed against the accused who have become very very rich moguls by participating in illegal schemes for which the losses have to be unfortunately borne by the daily wage-earning working classes who are at the moment struggling to make ends meet due to the spiraling cost of living which has already reached the moon.?
    how unfair I say with trepidation.?
    may these other financial committing scoundrels rot in hell I say.?
    in a cheerless disgust. ? R. J.

  • 5

    Expecting OL-failed MPs to act differently is futile. It’s easier to get feathers from a tortoise. But wait, who voted these jackasses into the House?
    Do they have horns and eat grass? No offence intended to cows, buffaloes and other sacred creatures.

    • 3

      Old codger

      “No offence intended to cows, buffaloes and other sacred creatures.”

      What about unicorns?

  • 2

    There are analysis of public policy , and as elected officials to do good public policy in the best interest of all the people. And make a small loop hole to play with policy. when will the lost money recovered.
    the loop hole is made to loose not found.

  • 3

    The dictionary meaning of OBFUSCATION is to make something obscure, unclear or unintelligible.

    Without obfuscating, Dr Wijewardena, can you please keep it simple and say:
    (1) Has there been corrupt practices at the Central Bank?
    (2) What was the loss to the public?
    (3) Who gained from it?
    (4) Can they be prosecuted?
    (5) Can what was lost be recovered?

    • 3

      Mr Goonetilaka,
      1. Yes, but the biggest ones were pre-2015.
      2. 1.6 billion according to the report.
      3. PTL and Ravi K.
      4. Probably not. Nobody forced the govt to borrow money from PTL.
      5. The entire alleged loss is less than 1 year’s loss at Sri Lankan Airlines. Isn’t it more sensible to recover that first?
      Please read the report.

  • 2

    Anything that has a value is kept in safe, knows worth, when the cover of the perfume bottle is removed the valur goes off. Covering preserves fragrance

  • 2

    There are allegations that the unit responsible for monitoring Non-Banking Institutions in CB knew what was happening in Edirisinghe Trust Investment (ETI) but did not take measures to prevent the collapse making the lives of 24,000 depositors miserable.

    • 0

      Dumb Eagle,
      If the miserable depositors gave their money to ETI to get 3% more, whose fault was it? Do you expect us innocent bystanders to bail out idiots? On the other hand, if ETI didn’t collapse, would the depositors have given us part of their profits?

  • 2

    Dr. Wijewardene: So the “Forensic Audit” debate in Parliament , according to you had only TWO CONSTRUCTIVE” proposals. That is certainly not in keeping with your “Professionalism” as an ex Deputy Governor of the CB. The debate was to highlight the “FINDINGS” of the Audit and bring the “Culprits” to book and to find ways and means of “RECOVERY” of the losses. Doesn’t it occur to you that “RECONSTRUCTION” could be done to avoid the losses depending on the findings. On the other hand, those “FINDINGS” are mainly due to NOT FOLLOWING the already existing procedures and more due to “CORRUPT” and “MISMANAGEMENT” actions of the “Authorities” of the them Management. In , contrast did you find anything going wrong after Dr. Cumarasway took over OR do you expect anything to go wrong under the new Governor? It is not the “STRUCTURE” that matters; but please understand that matters most for the “RISE” or “FALL” is mainly due to the “CHARACTER ” and “QUALITY” of the PEOPLE in Management. By the way, were you in the “Delegation” of those 200 odd “Cabral”, (at CB’s cost,) led to secure the Asian Games venue to Sri Lanka, that included “Anarkalie” the actress?

  • 1

    There is no point in arguing for and against the Forensic Audit report. Gotabaya who won the Presidential Election promised rule of law and now its his duty to ensure that the Govt moves to institute legal action through AG in the special court immediately based on this forensic audit. Let the courts decide the outcome.

    We are already aware how Gotabaya’s rule of law promise is being followed by him in the “issuing summons to Karanagoda” case.

  • 1

    I have read some where central bank system was created by the west. Some how they want to demolish it. They may have done it in more than one country.
    It is like Sri Lankan state administrative service was demolished in 1963 or so and then minister and his family or friends became the top management, So, now every where sabotaged because lack of knowledge, lack of system and purpose corruption., No professionals as the permanent Secretaries any more. I do not know why Auditor and accountants are dysfunctional.

  • 0

    None of the major fronts, within their promoting ranks are democratic. It is not at all for the benefit of the country and it promotes only the wishes of the leader(s) who are hanging their as Leeches. Another point is block votes that had built with it. I think, an intelligent and decisive leader(not any one from the present parliament) can change all these,.
    Anyway, Hakeem is typical thoppi pirati. He can be trusted in the present parliamentary system. He had shown allegiance even to LTTE assuming he would advanced via that.

  • 1

    Suranga: You said ” Ranawaka is real son of the soil”. Be careful. His “Accident” case is coming up in courts. The :Accused” driver has “Denied” driving that vehicle at the time of the accident and had made a statement to the Judge. Additionally the AG’s representative said: “The Police Officers” who investigated have mislead the prosecution. Now things are getting out of hand of Ranawaka. This “Son of the soil” will have to come “CLEAN” now.

    • 1

      Dr Wijewardana where is the suggestion to prosecute the EPF Superintendents of the Fund. The biggest culprit being Mrs R Dhreesasinghe . 9.2 Billion loss and you won’t say anything. Husband manipulated the bonds as Deputy Governor. Do a forensic of those. Dheerasinghe and his wife are scum of the earth. They bled the Central Bank during their time. Any ex CBSL officer will tell you how the duo benefitted under Cabral. Is she related to Dr P B Jayasundara? I am disappointed. I truly though you were independent Dr Wije.

  • 1

    It is amazing, Sri Lanka’s cruelest, longest and worst bank frauds or scam has been used to fool people. How amazing. They profit out of that. At the forefront is educated.

  • 0

    since we can only take one course of action,two constructive suggestions are more than enough.

    ps.however in sri lanka if you take the past record even if there was 100 constructive suggestions the MP’s will eat and eat at the parliamentary canteen,propose a motion,go to the toilet,then a big commotion and noise will ensure in the debate of the motion and the matter will be dropped.

    ps.i forgot to say that the motion will also become a loose motion.

  • 0

    WAW is being unreasonably critical of MPs for using figures from the forensic audit reports, ‘without bothering to find out how they had been arrived at to blast their political enemies’. The MPs were entitled to rely on those figures without further enquiry. It would indeed be extraordinary, when an audit report is received, for the recipients to proceed to check how the auditors had arrived at their figures! We now find WAW relating how he had explained to the auditors the difficulties the Monetary Board faced in 2007-8 in raising funds for the government and “the front office of the Public Debt Department had been permitted to raise the needed funds from whatever the source available at prices acceptable to the Department”. Is this saying in effect that a desperate situation called for desperate remedies? That is understandable but it is also conceivable that in that climate, things may not always have been done according to ‘Rule Book’ and there was a greater possibility for actual losses to occur. WAW has commended – not without some understandable personal satisfaction in that he himself had said some of those things before – the contributions made by MPs Ranawaka and Hakeem during the debate in parliament. Their contributions, however, were not in respect of the findings of the audit reports – that was the subject of the debate. That said, they are valuable suggestions for the government to take on board and act on. The country needs strong and credible and well regulated financial institutions if it is to attract foreign investments. And an independent central bank, free of the fetters of political interference, is among the most important.

  • 1

    In the course of his many articles, WAW has scarcely had a good word for the auditors. He has been unrelenting in his attacks on them, alleging, among other things, that they had used a flawed methodology in calculating losses when the Monetary Board “had issued bonds through direct placements’. He has gone on to also charge the auditors with using ‘fictitious’ figures in their work. His criticism has gone to the extent of suggesting, via his ‘grandfather grand-daughter dialogues’ that the auditors had taken the ‘Monetary Board, Parliament, media and the public for a ride’. I have never known professional auditors to use fictitious figures in their work. No decent auditor would be so silly. There may be times though, when appropriate, for notional figures to be used, say, as a basis for comparison, but that will be clearly stated. BDO and KPMG enjoy a well deserved reputation for professionalism and the quality of their work. Some of WAW’s criticism of them seems extravagant and unfair by two firms of their standing. WAW has written much on the matter of the forensic audit reports and ended his ‘Child’s Guide’ to the reports with the observation that “It’s now questionable whether the current Monetary Board has undertaken a worthwhile exercise by spending Rs. 275 million for producing these reports.” That’s one comment I cannot seriously quarrel with – not because of the quality of the reports, but because at the end of the day, nothing positive will come about, arising from these findings. These reports, like countless others before them, will be routinely filed away and blissfully forgotten.

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