Waiting for Mahendran
Posted on September 9th, 2019

Courtesy The Island

President Maithripala Sirisena is in a mighty hurry to bring ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran to justice, over the bond scams. One may recall that he went out of his way to help cover up the bond scams and take Mahendran off the hook, in 2015. He made a mockery of his commitment to good governance by dissolving Parliament before the first COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) report on the bond scam was presented, and, thereby, prevented it from having an adverse impact on the UNP’s electoral performance. Today, in a dramatic turn of events, with only a couple of months to go for the end of his term, he is all out to have Mahendran brought back. If only he had gone hell for leather to make Mahendran stand trial for the bond scam in 2015 itself!

President, the other day, made a propaganda show of signing what was made out to be a document seeking the extradition of Mahendran. That was something he could have done in private. He seems to be twisting the poniard he has sunk into Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s back, up to the quillion, so to speak. Ranil has not recovered from the findings of the presidential bond probe commission, which has also ruined the UNP’s chances of winning elections.

Mahendran has become a huge embarrassment to PM Wickremesinghe, who brought him in as the Central Bank Governor. The President is aware that if Mahendran can be brought back to stand trial, the latter is likely to rat on the real masterminds of the bond scams in retaliation for having been thrown to the wolves by the UNP-led government. Mahendran would not have dared commit that offence, without political backing. Having Mahendran here is something the PM, troubled by an intraparty dispute, wants like a hole in the head. Has President Sirisena sought to give a leg-up to Deputy UNP leader Sajith Premadasa,who is on a campaign to secure presidential candidacy? The former, who is well disposed towards the latter, is apparently, trying to queer the pitch for Ranil, who is also desirous of running for President.

It has been reported that documents running into thousands of pages on Mahendran have been sent to Singapore. Hefty as the dossiers presented in support of Sri Lanka’s call for Mahendran’s extradition may be, it is not likely to carry much weight with Singapore, as some legal experts have opined. They maintain that Singapore is not likely to extradite one of its citizens simply because Sri Lanka makes a request to that effect.

Singapore will blot its copybook indelibly if it refuses to extradite Mahendran. The message it will send to the rest of the world, in such an eventuality, will be that its professionals can commit any fraud overseas, return home and enjoy legal immunity; the countries that choose to employ them will be left high and dry. The Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement provides for employing Singaporean professionals here. They, too, will be able to do anything wrong here and flee and live like Mahendran.

‘Waiting for Godot’ is the name of an absurd play by Samuel Beckett; two persons therein wait for the title character, who never comes. What shall we call the absurd drama directed by President Sirisena? Shall we call it ‘Waiting for Mahendran’, for the protagonist will never come and all of us will be tired of waiting?

About four and a half years have elapsed since the first bond scam was committed. The President ought to explain why he waited until the tail end of his term to initiate the process of bringing Mahendran to justice.

President Sirisena has to atone for the sin he committed by helping cover up the bond scams initially and keeping the public in the dark in the run-up to the 2015 general election. Let him be urged to fish or cut bait.

7 Responses to “Waiting for Mahendran”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    HEAR YE! HEAR YE! HEAR YE! The convicted CROOKED HEDGE FUND TYCOON Raj Rajaratnam has been released early from Federal Prison in the USA.

    NOW WATCH CLOSELY, as the Tamil LTTE Diaspora swoops down on their former terror sponsor to GRAB A BIGGER SLICE of his REMAINING ASSETS to create MORE MAYHEM in Sri Lanka!


    We NEED Gota MORE than EVER as President of Sri Lanka!
    Sri Lankan-born hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam released from US prison two years early

    Sept 09, Colombo: Sri Lankan-born Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, who was serving an eleven-year prison term for insider trading has been released more than six weeks ago, almost two years early, Bloomberg reported.

    Raj Rajaratnam, alleged of being the mastermind of the largest hedge-fund insider-trading rings in U.S. history, has been living with his family in Manhattan’s East Side since July 23, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    He is mostly confined to his apartment for the remainder of his sentence, but is free to work outside his home during the day.

    Rajaratnam, who managed the $7 billion Galleon Group hedge fund, was found guilty of 14 counts of security fraud and conspiracy in May 2011. In addition to the 11-year jail term, he was fined $10 million and ordered him to forfeit $53.8 million.

    After his 2011 conviction, he served his time at the Federal Medical Center Devens, a prison outside Boston.

    Rajaratnam, 62, was released approximately 2-3 years early due to the 2018 First Step Act, which allows some federal inmates who are over 60 years old, or who face terminal illnesses, to serve the end of their sentences at home. He will serve the remainder of his prison sentence at home, with some privileges to work outside of the household.

    Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan Tamil immigrated to the US in 1981. He was an old boy of St. Thomas College in Mount Lavinia. He founded the Galleon hedge fund group in 1997.

    His Galleon Fund was one of Sri Lanka’s largest foreign investment funds and had large stakes in blue-chip companies. He was the single largest shareholder of conglomerate John Keells Holdings with 52.4 million shares.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Sirisena is desperate.

    His lies and hypocricy have come to trouble him. But this is also a good time to get things important for the national interest.

  3. dhane Says:

    Singapore legal team will ask time to study Mahendran extradition documents running into thousands of pages. With correspondence between the two countries AG department will take few more months. Nothing will happen before presidential election or general election in 2020.
    Even if AG department file action including PM Ranil at the cross examination Sirisena need to call for evidence and he too have to stand trial been the head of cabinet approved Mahendran appointment as Governor of CB. Also President is in fault not taking any action when 1st robbery took place and allowing 2nd looting. There should not be a President who cannot take any action as head of the government. Thereby its very unlikely any case file against Ranil or even including others. Eventually this whole Bond episode will be sweep under the carpet as many other cases.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Waiting for Sajith!

    Yesterday’s MUCH BALLEY-HOOED “DECISIVE” MEETING between Sajith and Ranil to decide who would be President (and who by default would be PM) was a TOTAL FLOP with NO “DECISION” albeit ending on a “GOOD NOTE”!

    From the looks of it, and despite the so-called “Good Note” on which it presumably ended, it seems to me NEITHER CAVED IN and the “decision” is very likely to keep UNP voters in LIMBO for another few weeks until the day before the Nominations need to be SUBMITTED!

    When quizzed, the STOCK ANSWER of the party leaders to media questions is that whatever the STATE of DEMOCRAZY in Sri Lanka is, DEMOCRAZY is ALIVE and WELL inside the UNP, and that is the reason for the delay! But we know, that the LONG KNIVES are OUT, and BITTER IN-FIGHTING is RAGING within the SiriKotha!

    Ranil Wikunanasinghe has a HUGE problem. His POWER BASE is the Leadership of the UNP; he DARE NOT GIVE THAT UP! So, if SAjith gets to be President, Ranil cannot cede the UNP Leadership to him as is usual. But, under the 19A which will come into full force in 2020, the Presidency will be reduced to a FIGUREHEAD position, with most of the EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY given to the PM. So, hanging onto the PM position will be better for the Maximum Leader Ranil! But, but, but, he hates the VERY IDEA of an pushy ambitious person like Sajith getting the TOP JOB of President even if it is TOOTHLESS, except for the thorny issue of Party Leadership going to the TOOTHLESS ONE!

    That is why Ranil, the Great Manipulator that he is, is again talking about getting rid of the PESKY Presidency recently. Then, as PM, he would have EVERYTHING: the PM post with its EXECUTIVE POWER and the Party Leadership, perhaps for LIFE! For Sri Lanka such a SCENARIO would be WORSE THAN DEATH!

    We who don’t think much of the UNPatriotic Party, its Maximum Leader Ranil Baba and wish he and the current Govt would FADE AWAY into the woodwork ASAP, give them our very BEST WISHES in keeping their INTERNAL DEMOCRAZY going in full swing, LONGER the BETTER, until they miss the Nominations BOAT ALTOGETHER!

    Ranil-Sajith talks end in a positive note
    Wed, Sep 11, 2019, 08:37 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Sept 11, Colombo: The much awaited talks between the Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Deputy Leader, Minister Sajith Premadasa, regarding the upcoming presidential election and the UNP candidate for the election ended in a positive note, the sources at the Prime Minister’s office said.

    UNP seniors, Ministers Kabir Hashim, Malik Samarawickrema, Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Rajitha Senaratne have participated in the discussion which started at around 9.30 pm Tuesday at the Temple Trees.

    Discussions have been held at length about the strategies to be used by the UNP for the presidential election and the ways to secure a win at the election forming an alliance regardless of who will be party’s candidate, according to sources.

    It has been asserted that the intention of everyone is to continue working as the United National Front (UNF).

    Speaking to the media after these discussions, Minister Sajith Premadasa said that a positive outcome would be obtained within a short period of time and several rounds of talks will be held in the next few days.

    “The talks with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have been very cordial and positive regarding the candidate who is contesting for the forthcoming Presidential election. The Prime Minister was in a positive mood and was of the opinion that all issues can be resolved through discussions in the next few days.”

    The Minister also said that the future plans, strategies and programs of the UNP and the UNF with regards to upcoming elections had been discussed at the meeting and a positive result can be expected in the next few days. Minister Premadasa said he is positive about the future discussions.

    Premadasa assured that there were no issues within the party and if there were problems, it could be resolved through negotiations.

    He pointed out that the UNP has always operated as a party and that the decision should be taken in consultation with the working committee. He said he is confident about the upcoming presidential candidacy.

    The Minister said although some claim that there are two sides in the UNP as Sajith faction and Ranil faction, there are no factions in the UNP.

    Premadasa said he was ready to continue the discussions and also hold talks with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the next few days.

  5. Randeniyage Says:

    Those who know Singapore will say this “thief’s assistant” will never be extradited to Sri Lanka. Similarly any big thief or murderer will get visa to stay long periods if they are spending good money there.

    Singapore is clean city but a dirty country. LKY must be in the hell worlds today, unfortunately, although he is a world model of leadership.

    Singapore knows their citizen is not the main thief. They also know very well money stolen from Sri Lanka is coming to safe heaven there, not only from Main Thief but bigger thieves. Thye were mainly dependent of Indonesian thieves until early 2000s. Suddenly, after LKY left politics, they extended the money laundering region of origin to all over the world. They have a special relationship with China, not to do that to China. Now, I believe, Sri lanka is a substantial source. Don’t forget ICPs ( Christie’s term) have a main base there, Serangoon Road surroundings.
    You will notice, all our “deals” have company addresses in this district. As they are also scared of India, they limit the money inflows from India.
    Indonesia is still a main source. However, early 2000’s saw another country following Singapore’s foot steps. DUBAI. DUBAI became a real threat to Singapore. They did their research and change strategies to tackle this.

    Indonesia ( although a much bigger country) is having exactly the same problems as us for a long time. Simply compare the growth histories and currency worthiness. Singapore has a strong Navy and Air Force with USA+(ANZAC) there to assist. Almost 1/3 of the country perimeter is a port. Number of huge warehouses is unbelievable. A single big warehouse is worth our Hambantota port. Sri Lanka can easily beat them if had the rule of law and a very strong Navy. Good politicians destroyed both. Before building ports we did not plan to allocate necessary extensive warehouse land areas together with transport infrastructure. There was no need to build a port or an airport that early.
    Singapore had everything ready by early 1980 when they built Changi Airport. Until that they utilized Paya Lebar airport efficiently. We were no where near that stage when loans built another airport in a mid of a jungle with elephants roaming !

    All our politicians became better than Singaporeans !

    We are the easiest target ! We need huge financial and political reforms to stop our money drain ! None of Singaporeans should be voted in , if we are to stop it

    You don’t have to believe me but ask yourself why our politician visit this island so frequently along with Dubai.

  6. Dilrook Says:

    I heard the funniest excuse why our politicians’ association with underworld figures and drug dealers is justified!

    (This logic is found only in SL).

    It goes that when LKY created Singapore he had to rely on the underworld. So it is OK for SL too. LKY did do so when Singapore didn’t have a military or a police. The underworld was the most powerful and they had to be included. However, a strong military and a police were set up soon and the underworld was wiped out.

    SL politicians associate the underworld when there is a world class military and a well established police!

    In SL truth depends on what benefits the “Dear Leader”. He is the mainframe computer and all others are dumb terminals. Put a PC into it and all hell breaks lose.

  7. Randeniyage Says:

    Total bulshit at its best !

    LKY was never a murderer. Otherwise he didn’t have to jail a communist leader in Santosa for 25 years with a huge cost to taxpayer. LKY was always about economics He was a UK studied young lawyer from a well off family).

    He is not a gangster or associated with underworld. He can be compared to Lalith Atulathmudali the most. I don’t know whether LA had underworld association, I don’t thinks so. LA came directly from Singapore.

    What he did best was what Kolonne was talking about. It is not underworld but intelligence. Even now it is strong, stronger than before. In 1980s , even taxi drivers were scared to criticize the government because of what they call ‘secret police’. Not because of ‘white vans’ but because of legal arrest and jailing under Internal Security Act (ISA). But in the 90s taxi drivers were criticizing without fear.

    Another thing wrong in that statement is everything LKY did was legal. He never created ‘paramilitary’ to kill any criminal. However, I believe he did somehow controlled judiciary. No drug dealer of alcohol producer became his monitoring MP. His MPs and ministers were mainly professionals, some key figures leading managers from multinational corporations and banks. All were paid sufficiently ( highly) as ministers.

    I remember he once said his yearly speech “I could be the most highly paid prime minister in the world, but I am the poorest. “

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