Mahendran cannot be compelled to give evidence as he is Singaporean – Counsel- Assurance of ‘good conduct’ sought from AG’s team
Posted on September 19th, 2017

By Sarath Dharmasena and Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta Courtesy The Island

Former Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran’s Counsel Romesh De Silva, PC, yesterday told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI), probing the alleged bond scams that his client couldn’t be compelled to give evidence before CoI as he (Mahendran) was a Singaporean.

President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Mahendran Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recommendation in January 2015. Mahendran was replaced soon after the second bond scam involving the Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) came to light in March 2016.

Counsel De Silva said that Mahendran would give evidence before the CoI to prove his innocence though the CoI had informed PTL owner Arjun Aloysius that he (Aloysius) could remain silent.

Mahendran yesterday gave evidence before the CoI on the instructions of his counsel.

Before Mahendran got into the witness box, PC De Silva said that the CoI couldn’t pressure his Singaporean client.

PC De Silva said that though Mahendran could have emulated his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius and refrained from giving evidence, he had instructed the former Governor to testify.


PC De Silva said that, however, his client would give evidence on the condition that the lawyers representing the Attorney General’s Department would ensure that, during questioning, they wouldn’t behave in a manner derogatory of Mahendran.

CoI member justice Prasanna Jayawardena: We treat all witnesses well. It is our responsibility.

Counsel De Silva: We expect the same of lawyers representing the AG’s Department.

Additional Solicitor General: Is he a saint?

Counsel De Silva: Witnesses should be treated properly. If you don’t know that, learn.

Counsel De Silva said that the CoI couldn’t pressure Mahendran to hand over documents or affidavits. Although the former CBSL Governor wasn’t required by the law to hand over his communication equipment in addition to mobile phones, he had done so in deference to the CoI directive, the counsel added.

Justice Chitrasiri: Call Mahendran to give evidence now.

Counsel De Silva: Is he (Mahendran) the last witness?

Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula De Livera said that Mahendran wasn’t the last witness.

Counsel De Silva said that he had been informed that Mahendran was the last witnesses

Justice Jayawardena said that was wrong. Mahendran was one of the last witnesses.

11 Responses to “Mahendran cannot be compelled to give evidence as he is Singaporean – Counsel- Assurance of ‘good conduct’ sought from AG’s team”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    This was very well planned by Ranil since 2013. That is why he was used to rob the Central Bank.

    Sri Lanka must bring laws to prevent foreign citizens holding high office. We need persons completely under the Sri Lankan law and Sri Lankan law alone to lead the nation.

    It applies to the post of president as well.

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    If Mahendran is good enough and consented to take on a Sri Lanka job, then he should be good enough to be handled under the Sri Lanka Justice System! There is no reason why he should be handled any differently and with ‘kid gloves’!

  3. ranjit Says:

    Shame, Shame Yamapalanaya swindlers. This was the Jan 8th coup orchestrated by Appaya and the gang. Both leaders must take the responsibility for this mess and the biggest robbery in history. They both responsible for appointing such a foreign thief. When we have in our Motherland best of best illustrated sons and daughters of our own why bring a foreigner and gave this most important post??? This was a planned coup by our poltical corrupt Stooges in the Yamapalanaya. Put them behind bars without any mercy.

  4. Nimal Says:

    IF Mahendran had illegally made money from this country the the most decent thing is for him to handover that money to a especially selected committee that will utilize it for good causes that we taxpayers demand like dredging the lakes to store rain water,more schools,hospitals and better roads etc.Make sure no illegal commissions are made by crooks.Then think of an amnesty for other crooked politicans and this should be so for other crooks who have robbed the country and they or their siblings should never be allowed to enter politics.

  5. aloy Says:

    The law establishing the Central Bank clearly says that the person appointed should be a citizen of the country. But AM was appointed by the prez and safeguarded by PM. Although the Lotteries board should have been under the Minister of Finance by the law establishing it, it was given to RK when he was the Foreign Minister. Clearly the Gamarala is doing unlawful things. If not he should have taken action then and their without making the citizens pay for the sins of the rogues.He should be made to account for all the misdemeanors of the government as he is the head. His ignorance or incapacity should not be an excuse. I am sure the circus will go on and on for the foreseeable future as long as the unpatriotic PM is running the government. Sinhalese always get into this situation and stay divided. When the last king who was a foreigner was in power they did not have anything else to do other than handing over the country to a powerful country. I thing we are getting into a similar situation little be little.
    On top of all these media also has started to control the decision making of process of the law enforcing authorities. One day they will say the prison authorities are rotten. The very next day they tend to safeguard the same rotten people (the medics) telling another story.

  6. Charles Says:

    Of course these are all legal men in the Commission. But where does it say that a witness called to give evidence by a court of law cannot be made to give evidence – it would be a contempt of court to do so ? In the case of a Commission it is to elucidate the truth and a witness whether he is a foreign citizen or not should in my opinion give evidence if he had been considered aware of the facts the Commission is going to bring to surface.

    I think the Commissioners are influenced but the Attorney Dappula Livera is sharp…

  7. L Perera Says:

    The appointment of a non national to manage the Central Bank and it’s related tasks, who is also immune to question by the states Judiciary , could be a FIRST in the history of World Democracies. Lanka to the fore!

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    The Counsel Romesh De Silva is DEAD WRONG!

    ANY Foreign National, except those with DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY, commtting a CRIME in the Sovereign Nation of Sri Lanka IS SUBJECT TO Sri Lankan Law, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

    This is the kind of ADDPATED DOUBLE TALK that people spout, when they think Foreign Nations can exert excessive influence on the National Govt and the National Govt is led by a bunch of PARA-GATHI TRAITORS working in cahoots with those foreign nations to deliver Sri Lanka bound hand-and-foot to their feet!

    Rise UP, Patriots of Lanka, and THROW the Yamapalana HORA-KALLIYA OUT!

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    Ooops! Meant to say “ADDLE-PATED DOUBLE TALK”!

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    Mahendran cannot be compelled to give evidence as he is Singaporean- Take him into 4th floor ( Naalam madi) he will tell you he is Singaporean or Sri Lankan.

  11. Christie Says:

    Singapore was a place where some of the work to install this government was carried out.

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