4 December, 2020

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Treasury Bonds Investigation; Ranil’s Committee Lacks Credibility: Chandra Tells President

The three-member committee appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to probe into the controversy that has emerged over the issuance of Treasury Bonds, totally lacked the required capability – knowledge, skills, attitudes and values -and appeared to have questionable independence due conflicting network connections to a political party which constitutes the government, says Good governance activist and former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Chandra Jayaratne.

Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

Jayaratne suggests that the inquiry panel be reconstituted with immediate effect, to comprise of four members;

  • Senior Retired Central Bank Official– eg. Former Deputy Governor -Mr. W. A. Wijewardena
  • Senior Retired Treasury Manager of a Commercial Bank- eg, Retired Citi Bank International Treasury Manager -Mr. Sanjiva Senanayake
  • A Chartered Financial Analyst- eg. Former President of CFA Association Sri Lanka-Mr. Malinga Aresacularatne
  • A practicing Chartered Accountant- Assurance Head of KPMG -Mr. Suren Rajakarar

ensuring that all members of the panel assure that they have no conflicts of interest and related party connections to any persons or entities connected to the subject of the inquiry.

“It is best that the Central Bank Governor, whose purported related party interests are the subject of this inquiry, should demonstrate his personal commitment to the ongoing inquiry, preferably by taking voluntary leave of absence from official duties during the inquiry period.” says Chandra Jayaratne.

CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s controversy emerged a few weeks ago with concern to his intervention in the issuance of Treasury Bonds through which his son-in-law had been given an upper-hand in the bidding process.

“It is my fervent hope that the “Yahapalanay Commitment” will stand firm and effectively implemented in Sri Lanka under your leadership.” Chandra Jayaratne has written to the President.

We publish below the letter in full;

The President of Sri Lanka,

Presidential Secretariat,

Janadhipathi Mawatha,

Colombo 1.

 

Dear Mr. President,

Caution – Are Interested Parties Making a Mockery of “Yahapalanaya”?

In your election manifesto, you articulated a vision with an action programme to set in motion a change process that will ensure good governance in the country and end the regime of management of the affairs of the state previously said to be engulfed in corruption, waste, nepotism, conflicts of interest/related party transactions and transactions which lack transparency. Your election to office was mostly based on this key personal commitment.

You were quick to realize that the upholding of your public commitment was at stake, on being briefed whilst overseas, of media criticism of a probable alleged scam or lack of transparency in connection with a long term bond issue made by the Central Bank in end February 2015. Your response action in instructing your Secretary to arrange a full independent inquiry in to this alleged scam was hailed by the civil society as an action in keeping with your commitment to good governance.

The importance of an independent inquiry by competent persons are further heightened by the revelations in media that the parties in question connected to the purported scam may have even be connected to similar transactions of a questionable nature in the past and also that the questionable processes adopted may have been repeated in subsequent bond issues in March 2015. These purported allegations which may be unfounded are also bound to affect the integrity and reputation of senior public officials, as well as private sector financial professionals. Hence, it will be in the interest of all concerned that the inquiry findings are expeditiously and  transparently dealt with, and the rule of law and good governance be the focal objectives of all concerned engaged in the inquiry and consequential action.

The civil society was extremely disappointed by the next steps that followed from your above instructions. It noted that the Committee announced as appointees to constitute the inquiry panel, totally lacked the required capability ( knowledge, skills, attitudes and values) and appeared to have questionable independence due conflicting network connections to a political party which constitutes your government.

Civil Society then asked “Are Interested Parties Making a Mockery of “Yahapalanaya”? My own view is that interested parties are not only attempting to frustrate the good intentions of your response action, but are in fact insulting your stated commitment and undermining the high esteem of citizens have in you and your government.

The task of the inquiry panel is not to prosecute or prepare charge sheets for prosecution, nor even to examine contracts and interpret them in a legal interpretation. Thus criminal and civil lawyers, with no capability in the areas of banking, finance, macro economics, public finance management, securities and investments trading and associated procedures, processes, controls, compliances and international best practices will not be able to complete the tasks required to deliver a credible inquiry finding classified as one developed by persons with capability, independence and integrity of purpose.

I suggest that the inquiry panel be reconstituted with immediate effect, to comprise of four members;

  1. Senior Retired Central Bank Official– eg. Former Deputy Governor -Mr. W. A. Wijewardena
  2. Senior Retired Treasury Manager of a Commercial Bank- eg, Retired Citi Bank International Treasury Manager -Mr. Sanjiva Senanayake
  3. A Chartered Financial Analyst- eg. Former President of CFA Association Sri Lanka-Mr. Malinga Aresacularatne
  4. A practicing Chartered Accountant- Assurance Head of KPMG -Mr. Suren Rajakarar

ensuring that all members of the panel assure that they have no conflicts of interest and related party connections to any persons or entities connected to the subject of the inquiry.

It is best that the Central Bank Governor, whose purported related party interests are the subject of this inquiry, should demonstrate his personal commitment to the ongoing inquiry, preferably by taking voluntary leave of absence from official duties during the inquiry period.

It is my fervent hope that the “Yahapalanay Commitment” will stand firm and effectively implemented in Sri Lanka under your leadership.

Yours Sincerely,

Chandra Jayaratne

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Latest comments

  • 19
    0

    Chandra Jayaratne is right.
    All these committees takes time and these are typical delay tactics and tricks. The same practiced to sort out the Tamil-Sinhala problems the past 67 years.

    This is not just a banking or Bond issue any more.

    This is a criminal issue.Now the President and PM should hand over the investigations to the CID and demand that investigations are conducted without fear or favor.

    Furthermore, Ranil as PM has a serious conflict of interest. The Governor is a very close personal friend of his. Both the wives are close friends and Mrs Nadine Mahendran is the baby sister of Padma Maharajah. It is the PM who insisted on the appointment of the Singaporean citizen to this post despite many protest of his very own close friends as well as his cronies. Singapore does not permit any dual citizenship for any of their citizens. This has severly compromised the entire Dept. of Immigration to their integrity as well as fairness.

    This is also a TAMIL DISGRACE.

    Singapore is also very strict in corruption when in public office whether in Singapore or outside of their own citizens.

    Good luck to both of them.

    Donald J Gnanakone
    Tamils For Justice.

  • 4
    4

    Keep dreaming Mr Jayaratna. Rani was short of funding for the past 10 years or so and god knows how long he will keep this job. For him time is very precious hence these 50% sharing deals.

  • 9
    0

    It is only the likes of Chandra that can keep this alive. Ranil will do his utmost to scuttle this inquiry with lawyers who are out of their depths. He has given Arjuna Mahendran a clear undertaking that he will emerge unscathed from this which the Teflon-coated Governor is not ashamed of broadcasting in Colombo circles.

  • 7
    1

    Hope MS will prove that he can take a firm decision by himself – specially when his
    Deputy (PM) is involved. These steps are very necessary before embarking to lofty
    ideas such as “National Govt.” The CID be better avoided and more knowledgeable
    people, as suggested, come into the scene.

    • 5
      5

      Ranil is definitely going to lose at the next election. After all the hard work of chasing the Rajapakse’s away. Very very sad situation.

    • 0
      0

      Things not working out is it punchinilame.It seems nothing has changed from the last regime except the expectation of the people. I think Antany, Patriot, Malak , Sinhala Modaya will have to agree with me on this.

  • 7
    0

    Well Done Mr. Jayaratne. If President Sirisena makes these changes then we all can be glad that there is Yahapalanaya.

  • 4
    2

    RW is not suitable and when in deep trouble hides in appointing 2 bit commitees or goes into depression/bury head deeper

    RW and RK…its time to go home and both for irresponsible appointments

  • 4
    1

    From the frying pan into the fire. I know personally how corrupt many people in this Government have been and picking India as our “best friend”‘ makes it interesting. India is by far one of the countries with a most dubious history of corruption. So now it will be interesting to see if the MR government or the RW government are the bigger rogues. Ranil has started well. Appointing Maharajahs into the “responsible jobs. Will our people never learn?

  • 6
    2

    jayaratne is dreaming. dinesh weerakody who wanted the job of governor of the central bank is ochestrating this campaign against ranil wickremasinghe and mahendran. weerakodys father in law was a good frienfd of rajapakse. so the plan is to embarass ranil.possibly hoping ranil will lose election

    • 3
      1

      (1) Mahendran sacrificed so many perks to become the CB Governor. For what?
      (2) Mahendran’s close relative buys bonds of a staggering amount. Looks no problem.
      (3) Just before that Mahendran raises the interest rates all time sky high. Good Heavens, why?

      As far as the events (1), (2) and (3) are concerned where does a Weerakkody come in? It is Mahendran’s own doing. Moreover, the Central Bank was made an institution under the PM instead of the usual Finance Ministry. As long as Mahendran is clinging to the position and a fake committee is appointed to “look into”, Ranil’s own reputation as an honest politician is tarnished.

  • 8
    0

    Its quite obvious that there has been some mischief but to give the benefit of the doubt to Mahendran let the government proceed with a quick investigation. I agree the committee appointed by RW lacks credibility and needs to be reconsidered.

    However, I think Mahendran should have issued a statement but he has kept mum. If found guilty he must be sacked on the spot and his son-in-laws firm must blacklisted. It has to be simple and rapid as that. Lets not pussy foot around the issues because these were the same things MR did without any purpose or objective which frustrated us all.

  • 5
    0

    Presume its an inside job, where Mr. Mahendran was tricked by the
    supporters of the former Governor Mr. Cabral, who as Governor, was
    the fund raiser for Rajapakse regime, using people’s money at the CB.

    It is very doubtful that Mr. Mahendran, having worked in the banking sector in Singapore for no. of years , where the laws are strict on embezzlement , would not have dared to do such a thing of supporting his relatives in such a short time. Singapore is the capital of banking
    industry in the East and every move of the employees are watched by the
    govt.and embezzlers given harsh jail terms. Only Singaporians know how
    tuff their govt.is on these matters and he would not have forgotten
    the past experience in a matter of few days to help his relative.

    His son in law, happened to be one of the brokers in banking or Private
    Financial sector in Dubai, and may have grabbed the occasion and made the money which is the job of every broker in banking industry. It is up to the Govt.to investigate and find out whether the news reached him
    first and not others,unlawfully and who passed it to him. This is a matter for CID and Interpol and not a matter for civilian investi-
    gation.

    PM, who recruited him should have warned him of underhand activities at
    the central bank, unlike in Singapore where banks and bankers maintain strict discipline in dealings,and to take enough precautions to protect
    the secrets of the bank dealings from enemies,within as this some thing
    unique in Sri Lanka only

    He should be given a chance to explain himself to the media and TV so
    that the people will get the 1st hand information, and also have a team
    to inquire. In the event Mr. Mahendiran was at fault, he has let the
    PM down and brought disgrace to the Tamil community. MR govt. never
    gave any higher positions in the armed forces or govt.sectors to Tamils
    except given some positions to people like the former NPC chief Secy.
    and other hoodlums of Devanantha/Pillian/Karuna clan to break up Tamil
    unity but this govt. wants to bring in some Tamils, proportionately in
    Govt. sectors and probably in the armed forces, like the old days, but this episode will force the govt. to look the other way, if proved wrong. Even the appointment of CJ may come under questioning by those who work hard for the division of the communities.

    • 5
      1

      Totally agree. I see Cabral’s hand in it very much.

      Ranil took a big gamble appointing AM. He gave up a lucrative job and his Singapore citizenship not disgrace himself and let down his friend.

    • 3
      1

      Do you not know that they live in the same house in Flower road? Mahendran in a grandiose gesture refused the official residence and car seen as a further sign of arrogance.

    • 1
      2

      (1) Mahendran sacrificed so many perks to become the CB Governor. For what?
      (2) Mahendran’s close relative buys bonds of a staggering amount. Looks no problem.
      (3) Just before that Mahendran raises the interest rates all time sky high. Good Heavens, why?

      Oh God! do we take for granted that Mahendran is a baby for minions in the Central Bank to play pucks with him? Mahendran is a senior banker.

      If the raise of the interest rates to hitherto unknown levels were on the advice of the juniors, then this story would never have come out. It came out because the decision is not in keeping with advice or recommendations of the juniors.

      It is important that this issue should not be white washed or swept under the carpet. The credibility of both President M. Sirisena and Premier R. Wickramasinghe are at stake as they who jointly promised the voters of a thing calles “Yahapalanya”

  • 0
    2

    the very appointment of mahendran is an insult to the capable, smart & honest administrators of our land. this fraud is so obvious that a inquiry is a waste of time. ranil’s appointees for the inquiry is an insult to the intelligence of the people.
    mahendran not resigning shows the calibre or the lack of it in the man.

    a warning to good politicians such as Drs harsha.eran w sujeewa ramaanayake Arjuna &. many more. Don’t allow ranil to corrupt you.. Let president sirisena a good decent man guide you @ the nation.

  • 2
    0

    Well done Mr. Jayaratne. please endure and ensure that the truth will prevail. Do not waiver on your convictions. Please rally like minded citizens and continue with your efforts. It is indeed a very difficult task. You are bound to upset many, and may find lesser invitations to gatherings frequented by the “boot lickers”. Please do rise up and highlight acts such as this. The country needs people like you.

    Arjuna Mahendran should bow down for the sake of his personal integrity. He can become the Governor of the Free Lanka Group. Stop robbing this country Mr. Mahendran and Mr. Aloysius. The country has been plundered enough by the last set of crooks who were sent home. We do not need refined crooks like you.

  • 3
    0

    Anyone realize Ranil W appointed his close relative as State Minister of Defense and now also appointed his cousin Dr. Wijesundere who does not practice medicine after some shady deals as a Director of Apollo Hospitals which is Lanka Hospitals now? So they said Gota “owned” Apollo which is all a lie because he was the state appointed nominee to the board of the hospital. Now Ranil appoints his ethically challenged cousin to same? Yahapaalanaya is taking President Sirisena for a ride.

  • 2
    0

    Can a SL qualified Lawyer Please be kind enough to help me here.

    Isn’t it illegal for a Foreign Passport Holder WITHOUT A DUAL CITIZENSHIP ( SRI LANKAN CITIZENSHIP ) TO HOLD A CABINET POST ( IE CB GOVERNOR ) ?

    IF SINGAPORE DOES NOT RECOGNAIZE DUAL CITIZENSHIP WHY WAS HE APPOINTED TO THIS VALUABLE POST ? CAN ANY SL CITIZEN TAKE THIS MATTER BEFORE THE SC OF SRI LANKA ? SOMEBODY PLEASE CLARIFY THIS ?s TO ME …THKS SO MUCH .

  • 2
    2

    Is Chandra Jayaratna wasting his time?..

    Top Rung Yahapalana Minister Mr Ravi. Galleon . Karunanayaka has already . issued a clean bill health to Ranil’s Pal, Mahendran.

    Now I hear the CSX Buster Dr Harshe Silva asking the likes of Jayrathna to be cool and wait till e Ranil’s own Investigation Committee gives its verdict.

    CSX Buster is another Yahapalana heavy ..Right..

    These ministers are obviously a lot smarter than the real Yahapalana believers like Jayarathna.

    BTW, Wonder what happened to the Drunk Monk whom Dr Harsha was cuddling in the back of that Tip Truck?….

    Could he be Harsha’s Chief of Staff now?..

  • 2
    1

    It is only 9 % even for Greek Treasury Bonds.

    Now that Suren Surendran and even the Reverend are in good terms with our Yahapalana President, why couldn’t they start an Investment Bank to invest in our Treasury Bonds.

    Even if they go with 8 % that is nearly 400 percent more than they can get in the West.

    And they are putting something back in to the ex motherland, which is most likely host the the first Tamil Nation.

    Why should the outsiders like Singaporeans get the benefit of Srilanka’s development and prosperity.

    As Donald says Mahendran is not even a Dual Passport holder,

    If the great majority of the inhabitant population are on par with the Elite incomes and standard of living, there wouldn’t be any problem Tamil and Arab people having their own nations in Srilanka.

  • 0
    1

    Is this the same Chandra Jayaratne who was part of the Tobacco Company who sold cigarets for the masses of Srilanka. Evidence shows now that the Directors of tobacco companies all over the world new the damage that cigarets caused humans but continued to advertise the product without any warning. He is the same person who is giving all of us a lecture on good governance and represents an unelected quango consisting of the Colombo’s elite called the Friday forum.
    We do not need any inquiry because the job of the Govener of the Bank of Srilanka entails the occupier to be super clean as perception of dishonesty will bring the Bank in to disrepute. In order to maintain the credibility of our banks and the financial system in Srilanka he should be sacked by the Priminister. By not declaring a conflict of interest with all his Banking experience is mischievous or a flagrant breach of the banking code. That in itself is a sackable offence. Ranil appointed his Dad has the Srilanka’s UN representative when he was priminister on the last occasion. He is not prepared to sack his friend, no wonder the masses didn’t elect him and rejected him on so many occasions.

  • 0
    1

    Jayaratne, you are & have always been an [Edited out]

  • 2
    2

    The way I see it is that the current government is selecting people for positions based on familiarity. Picking Mahendran for this key position was a grave mistake as his background is in wealth management in commercial banks and with no experience in central banking. Obviously he had no clue how debt management should be conducted from a central banking perspective or this transaction was done with solely the intent of assisting his son in law make a killing. That said however if the bond issue can be proved to have been tilted towards making a financial gain for his son in law , this guy should not only be fired but also be prosecuted. RW must realise that there are many talented and skilled Sri Lankans living in SL and overseas, and key appointments like the governor of the CB should be made by conducting a search or head hunting by a professional recruitment agency without our politicos making these decisions. I would like to ask RW what he knows about central banking!!! These are all recycled toilet paper guys who unfortunately the citizens of SL have not been able to kick out. It will be interesting to see what the geriatrics who have been in hibernation and retirement for the past decade or more contribute to the reforms. the Royal college bonding is being established at the cost of sacrificing the citizens to the guillotine. Still to see single key position advertised. Says a lot for transparency!!!

  • 3
    1

    no doubt this is the start of the down fall of yahapalanaya. There aren’t credible people in Sri Lanka to have yahapalanaya.

  • 1
    0

    This letter is a really good attempt to show the double standards of “Yahapalanaya”.

    This episode shows that not only the Central Bank Governor but also, RW and Rawi K is not suitable to hold the public positions or parliamentary appointments.

  • 0
    0

    Can this man Jayaratne point out any issue reference the credibility of the team appointed to substantiate his charge, to be fair in his criticism? Arjun Mahendran too was like Chandra Jayaratne till the issue surfaced. Now we see how many Doctors and Professionals are dishonest in this society? Otherwise all pretend to be decent honest people till they are discovered, while some escape being detected and shout most about corruption to cover their own conscience. Therefore how can one know the inside of a person till one commits a fraud. The situation became so bad in the country that these critics were immune to crime and fraud and never made any fuss then, accepting as habit in society. Now only they have woken up.

  • 0
    0

    I am not taking a side in this topic, at least untill the real facts come out. Just wanted to point out that the current Governor of Bank of England, Mark Carney is a citizen of Canada. So it is not an isolated instance have a non-citizen running a central bank.

  • 0
    1

    George Jilmart, you fool.
    Mahendran, started his career at The CBSL.
    Study your facts, before shooting off your trap.
    Donald Gnanakone, YOU are a disgrace to the Tamil community.
    Weren’t you also running around the PM RW just before the elections.
    Just because you were turned back at immigration in SL recently, you go on the rampage?
    What passport are you holding?
    Disgrace to the Country.

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