Prez, PM paved way for Mahendran’s ‘Great Escape’ GL
Posted on January 7th, 2018

By Ravi Ladduwahetty Courtesy Ceylon Today

Chairman of the Podujana Eksath Peramuna and former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday charged that it was the gross inaction on the part of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that paved the way for the now beleaguered ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran to escape to Singapore.

It was a great escape for Arjuna Mahendran, Prof. Peiris exclaimed, adding that he could have been arrested in Sri Lanka then, had President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe heeded the advice of the Joint Opposition, given at the right time, well ahead of Mahendran getting away scot free.

“How can we ever get Arjuna Mahendran to come to Sri Lanka as he is a Singaporean citizen and he cannot be arrested or charged under the Sri Lankan laws,” he said, adding that the ideal solution for the Government, under these circumstances, was to impound his Singaporean Government passport, which the Joint Opposition repeatedly requested the Government to do, but to no avail.

“Had the Government listened to us, this catastrophe would never have happened,” Prof. Peiris remarked.

“This is an absurd situation where members of the Joint Opposition have been arrested and remanded and their passports impounded for reasons of far lesser magnitude and much more flimsy such as being unable to account for GI pipes. There were sufficient grounds to impound Mahendran’s passport which was not done and why he was allowed to leave the country,” Prof. Peiris asked indignantly.

Mahendran has said that he had given sufficient evidence to the Presidential Commission probing the Central Bank Bond Scam. “I have no reason to be in Sri Lanka and I have absolutely no intention of returning,” Prof. Peiris quoted Mahendran as having said.

Prof. Peiris, also Deputy Finance Minister and Acting Finance Minister during the Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga Presidency, who also brought in anti-Money Laundering Legislation in 1996 and who presented the 2000 National Budget in Parliament, said: “It is almost impossible to believe that all the people who stashed away the loot from the Bond Scam would leave it lying around in Sri Lankan banks. There is every reason to believe that the stolen funds would have been spirited away overseas.”

Responding to a question as to whether there was a possibility of the Government getting an international agency, such as Interpol, to arrest Mahendran, Professor Peiris said:” All these matters take time. How long will these matters take? Then the Government will have to resort to extradition procedures, where it will have to request the Government of Singapore to extradite him, which will be a complex, cumbersome procedure.The irony of it was that the Government was trying to lock the stable door after the horse as bolted. There were enough grounds for the Government to put him in remand prison, Prof. Peiris said in veritable disgust.

The way was paved for Mahendran to have a great escape with the loot as well so that all the people concerned could share this loot, he said.

The question which remains unanswered is why was he allowed the liberty to leave the country as and when he wished? , he asked, adding that it was not a part of inadvertence on anybody’s part but, it was deliberately done.

He also stressed that Mahendran was merely the cat’s paw and that people much higher engineered this at their will and pleasure.
“His departure from Sri Lanka was deliberately facilitated,” Prof. Peiris said.

Meanwhile, Colombo District JO MP Bandula Gunawardena told Ceylon Today that though the Bond Commission said that the loss to the country was Rs. 11 Billion (Rs. 11,145 million) that was the only the profits to Perpetual Treasuries, but the real loss to the Central Bank and the Government amounted to well over a whopping Rs 2 Trillion.

He also said that he was prepared to participate in a live television debate with former Finance and Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake, which will provide a true picture of the losses to the country.

One Response to “Prez, PM paved way for Mahendran’s ‘Great Escape’ GL”

  1. ranjit Says:

    JO should fight to the end on this daring bank robbery done by UNP Hora clique and the Singaporean mafia. Already proved so nothing to hide. Get them and put them behind bars. I ask JO to organise protests all over the country and demand mastermind Ranil to resign from his post immediately. Sira cannot be trusted because he is his friend and mentor. Tell the whole world that we have a bank robber as a Prime minister and his name is Ranil Wickremesinghe.

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