Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, testifying before the Bond Commission, stated that he had rested on the assurance of Governor Arjuna Mahendran regarding the divestment of Arjun Aloysius’ ownership in Perpetual Treasuries and had insisted on the divestment prior to Mahendran taking over as Governor.
It is now clear that Aloysius did not resign from PT Holdings and is the mastermind of the Bond Scam. While there is no evidence as of yet that the Prime Minister had any direct dealings with Aloysius, he still maintains Mahendran as the Head of his Five Year Development Plan, despite Mahendran having lied to him about his son-in-law.
Wickremesinghe also stated that he made a similar assumption regarding Ravi Karunanayake, believing that the senior UNPer and former cabinet minister was telling the truth about the ‘Penthouse allegation when it was first made by MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage.
“I asked him ( Karunanayake) about it and he said no. There was no reason to go further”, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said in response to a question posed by Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya.
When Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya asked Wickremesinghe if was no specific information that Mr Arjuna Mahendran in fact did keep those words about the assurances he gave, the Prime Minister said “I had no information that he deliberately misled me and the Pitipana committee also did not have any information to that effect and I don’t think even the COPE, although it did make some comments, had any findings of that matter.”
While the Commissioners appeared to take Wickremesinghe’s word about assurance given to him, they failed to ask why he had given Karunanayake a new post after it was found that Karunanayake in fact had lied to the prime minister about the penthouse.
After Ravi Karunanayake resigned as Foreign Minister, following revelations regarding dealings with Aloysius including the latter paying the rent of a plush penthouse, Wickremesinghe appointed him as the head of the Rural Infrastructure Special Programme. Karunanayake continued to use VIP security and vehicles like a powerful minster even after submitting his resignation.
Karunanayake has not been stripped of his new post and continues to hold the Deputy Leader post in the party that Wickremesinghe leads, the United National Party.