23 September, 2023


The Need To Reveal The Public Interest Information Re Controversial Penthouse?

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

The Public Interest Information re Controversial Penthouse will be answered by the relevant parties by responding to the undernoted questions:

1. Details of the respective Lessees, Tenants and Owners of the property, during the period January 2015 to June 2017, along with any relevant changes and effective dates of change?

2. If a Company was the Lessee, Tenant or Owner of the property during this time,

a) Whether a private or public company?

b) the names of shareholders and directors of the company, along with their respective levels of shareholding interests and dates of change?, and

c) the primary business activity of the entity?

3. If any shareholder or director of the entity was a non resident, confirmation that the relevant and applicable statutory and regulatory compliance processes had been duly adopted in the allotment of shares and the appointment as directors?.

4. If any of the individual or companies, who were Lessees, Tenants  and Owners of the property were deemed to comprise of any Politically Exposed Persons or persons closely related to such persons, were the required reviews and approvals processes complied with by the professionals, lawyers, bankers etc, involved ;

a) When opening banking relationships?

b) in the subsequent processing of financial transactions or contracting ?

c) in the assessment of requests for loans or credit facilities from Banks?

d) grant of loans and credit facilities by Banks,

in line with the Financial Action Task Force Guidelines covering Politically Exposed persons?

5. When the persons or entity in question took steps to settle significantly high value loan repayments in cash, did the relevant Banks in question take steps to raise Suspicious Transactions Reports in compliance with the directions issued by the Financial Investigations Unit?

6. From which sources did the non-resident director/chairman access the significantly large cash holdings to be deposited in the safe of the business entity? Were these from existing holdings in local banks? If so did such bank validate the reasons for the draw-down of such cash in currency notes? and did they raise suspicious transaction reports? Or were these currency notes secured by way of inward remittances en-cashed locally or did he bring over currency notes from overseas? and If so did such bank validate the reasons for the draw-down of such cash in currency and raise suspicious transaction reports? What denomination were the notes in and were they all new Rs. 5000/= currency notes?

7. If Suspicious Transaction Reports were raised in the instances 5 and 6 above, what action was taken by the Financial Investigations Unit?

8. Have the banks in question, which received such significant cash payments a record of the currency note serial numbers and did they validate the said numbers with the declared source of notes?

9. How did the Accountants and the Auditors of the entities engaged, account for and treat the cash payments made by third parties as lease rentals, cash holdings and cash payments in loan settlements, in preparing the Accounting statements of the entities, especially

a) the cash receipts and cash deposits in banks and cash payments to the lessors of the property?

b) the Cash receipts kept in the safe?

c) The Cash payments made to lenders as repayment of loans, using the cash in the safe?

d) Did they by way of any notes to the accounts disclose in these instances, any consequential conflicts of interests and any related party transactions?

e) Were the cash in safe under insurance cover and were the extents of holding declared to Insurers were these declarations seen by Accountants and auditors?

f) Were these transactions including third party lease rent payments queried by the internal or external auditors of the entities concerned?

g) Did the formal minutes of the entities, including those making unrelated third party payments note these transactions?

h) Were there any references in the Management letters of the auditors to any of the above entities regards these transactions

i) Were the Accounts qualified or these transactions subject to highlight by the auditors?

10. How were these transactions accounted for in Tax Accounts and Tax returns of the entities and individuals concerned? The apartment having been used by directors of the entity, was any Payee or other taxation payments made on account of non cash benefits of the said directors, in their occupation of a leased property at first and an owned property subsequently?

11. Had the revised Code of Ethics of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, now in force been applicable then, would professional Accountants involved in these entities in any capacity, including as accountants and auditors, taken due steps in line with the said Code to have responded to these significant non compliance with laws and regulations (NOCLAR) ?

12. Had any member of the Bar Association involved in these transactions, complied with the Financial Action Task Force Guidelines and Financial Intelligence Unit gazette directions binding on legal professionals?

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Latest comments

  • 6

    Chandra Jayaratne –
    How qabout various expenses of the Prime minister of the PRevious govt. I read some where, his Laundry bill alone was half a million. Then comes his Hospital bill in NEw york. They live in the parliament for the whole life. but, Sri lankan hospitals are sub standard when Politicians going to get care. YOu know they all are in the same boat and live at the expense of the country.

  • 10

    Ranil’s silence about his closest political buddy and lieutenant is extremely baffling! Public needs to know this detail first, before they start to make prayers and ceremonies to mark his 40-yr service that has been climaxed with a crown of thorns.

    May be Ranil too needs divine intervention now to save his skin too, unless he gets off the mark pretty sharp.

    • 0

      Great point . Could we also know what his greatest achievements have been over the past 40 years , and the dividend to the Sri Lankan people ?
      He, on the other hand , has had it all on a platter , living life in the lap of luxury – mostly at the tax payers expense.

      • 1

        NP, I don’t know. Ask him as he is the one who is shouting out from tree tops. May be losing at the elections, was it, 13 times. Or winning one hanging on to MS’ coat tails.

  • 2

    Mr Jayaratna

    You have asked very pertinent questions but who is going to answer them? Do you think the relevant authorities & professional bodies will officially come forward to take up the case?

    I won’t be surprised if these questions remain unanswered. There were questions when Cabral was in the hot seat at the CB but they have been forgotten over new scandals & this too will blow over in time with newer scandals coming to light. Maybe, at least, you can put pressure on the civil society to do something about it before it’s forgotten.

  • 1

    Reading these questions posed by the writer I get two divergent impressions; one is that he is making at attempt to show he knows some law and accounting, and is boasting about it to all and sundry. The other is that he is a naive little mouse who is squeaking about injustice somewhat like playing a noisy fiddle in front of a deaf elephant. Eventually when the elephant farts, he will get blown away…

    • 0

      LP: To get blown away when the said elephant farts, he will have to be standing at the back, not the front of the said elephant.

    • 1

      This comment of yous – a fart of a mouse – shows that you are a small man with a mean, egoistic , jealous swollen head.
      Have you been to a library? All those writers are attempting to show that they know something about something. Tell the readers how will YOU suck up an elephant fart.


  • 0

    Chandra Jayaratne raises a number of very relevant questions in “The Need To Reveal The Public Interest Information Re Controversial Penthouse?”
    Can the answers be obtained through RTI?
    Is RTI restricted to individuals? In other words is it possible for like minded to apply as a group (like class action)?
    The answers are bound to open a can of worms which may leave us with a reasonably clean Lankan can.

  • 0

    Well, this author is trying to either show-off or taking the reader for a ride.
    What he emphasise is set of questions to shoot the messenger. I do not see any relevance other than that. Is he educating the Presidential Commission Inquiry panel?
    I think these questions are designed to take the readers on a circle and hiding the culprit. If any one is stupid to answer these questions that will provide just enough to let the big fish run with the net.

  • 0

    President M Sirisena, Prime, Ranil Wicks and CBK has gone all oversees tripe by Tax Payers money.
    They accompany more than hundred of delegated by tax payers Govt. Expenses.
    Where is those accounts. There are NOT that liable to Parliament responsibility or accountability.
    Three of them spend Millions of US $ dollars .These political corrupted leaders last 34 moths loot public funds .
    No an investigation by any enforcement authority of Govt.? See CB Bond Scam by UNP Ranil Wicks in main culprit, that even no any question by FICD or CID or Department of Attorney General or Public persecution .Indeed that simple facts shows Sri lanka is lawless nation. No voice against corruption charges against of leadership of MS ,Ranil Wicks, Ravi Karunayake , Malik Samarawickma And CBK?
    If by mishap you raise voice of leaders of corruptions ,there will be White Vans is behind you>.
    All the rights of the “Freedom of Democracy” is at their mercy.@@@

  • 0

    This man is a diehard UNP supporter who is trying to sabotage the work of Presidential Commiision. When the bond scam first came to light he tried to protect Mahendran who is related JayRatnes wife, by bringing a case in The Supreme Court which was aimed at protecting Mahenran. Now he is raising some bullshit questions. No one should take any notice of this rascal.

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