The deadlock between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe continued over the appointment of a new Governor for Central Bank, with the Monetary Board stepping into act as the ‘CEO’ and running the day to day activities from today, until the appointment of a new Governor.
Ranil and Sirisena | File photo
The Colombo Telegraph learns that while Wickremesinghe campaigned for the appointment of his senior advisor Charitha Ratwatte as Governor, an equally stubborn Maithripala refused to budge from his decision in appointing Deputy Governor Nandalal Weeresinghe to the post, resulting in a further escalation of an internal rift in the coalition government.
The Government however attempted to quell the situation claiming that it was awaiting the return of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake from overseas to make the official announcement, even though the final decision rests on the President and Prime Minister.
“The Finance Minister’s consent is necessary, but that can even be obtained over the phone. The government is finding excuses in an effort to buy more time,” a highly placed source said.
Arjuna Mahendran’s term as Central Bank Governor ended at 6.00 p.m. on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe has denied protecting Mahendran, claiming that the controversial ex-Governor who is allegedly involved in several Treasury bond scandals has not being proved guilty in any inquiry so far.
“I am not protecting him, but neither has he being proved guilty. However, if he is proven guilty, then action will be taken against him,” Wickremesinghe reportedly told the ITN. ( By Munza Mushtaq © Colombo Telegraph)