‘Can a person who has renounced SL nationality be appointed CB Governor’ GL fires broadside at govt. over bond scam
Posted on May 23rd, 2015

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy Island

Former External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris said yesterday that the government owed an explanation to the people regarding the appointment of a person who had repudiated his Sri Lankan nationality, as the Governor of the Central Bank.

Prof. Peiris said Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s foreign nationality wasn’t the only issue but the circumstances under which he had obtained that status. In accordance with the Singaporean Constitution, Arjuna Mahendran had declared: “I absolutely and entirely renounce all loyalty to any foreign sovereign or state or country and I do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Singapore.”

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Prof. Peiris said that he along with a group of Opposition members on Thursday (21) made representations to Speaker Chamal Rajapaka as regards the need for a debate on the controversial Central Bank bond issue and other relevant matters in the wake of the government adopting delaying tactics.

Could there be a situation as preposterous as a foreigner directing Sri Lanka’s monetary policy and then continuing regardless in spite of extremely serious accusations made against him in respect of ‘insider trading’ and favouritism in a Treasury bond issue involving his son-in-law – allegations that rocked Colombo’s banking sector.

Prof. Peiris insisted that the government was yet to provide a plausible explanation with regard to disputed decision to accept bids for Rs. 10 billion, 10 times more than the requested Rs. 1 billion.

The former law professor pointed out that even a committee appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to inquire into the accusations hadn’t exonerated Mahendran. Referring to the recommendations made by the committee, Prof. Peiris said that the government was yet to address the issues raised therein.

Responding to another query, Prof. Peiris said that perhaps the parliament should decide the criteria for key appointments such as the Governor of Central Bank et al. Prof. Peiris emphasized that having the Singaporean nationality at the expense of his origins should have disqualified Mahendran from receiving any key state sector appointment. Instead, renouncing of one’s nationality seemed to have helped Mahendran to receive top appointment in this instance.

The Opposition would pursue the matter, UPFA MP Peiris said, adding that the bond controversy was going to be a major issue at the next general election. “We’ll be taking the issue to the electorate. Those who are seeking to sully the previous government should explain its conduct in this regard.”

The former minister said that the Opposition, too, wanted to know the status of the investigation undertaken by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

Prof. Peiris challenged the government to direct so-called police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) to inquire into alleged Central Bank fraud. The MP said that the UNP wouldn’t be allowed to hush up accusations.

3 Responses to “‘Can a person who has renounced SL nationality be appointed CB Governor’ GL fires broadside at govt. over bond scam”

  1. Marco Says:

    Prof GL has a point, but would he comment on the very same issue on GR heading the security of the nation as a Defense Secretary?

  2. Independent Says:

    Well done GL. This challenge should go on until the Demala is out of Sri Lanka back to Singapore to get discriminated there.

  3. Independent Says:

    Marco,
    Gota has dual citizenship. This man hasn’t. It is illegal for a Singaporean to hold citizenship of any other country.

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