Thursday, 23 June 2016 08:59

Twenty civil society organizations wow to take to streets demanding the ouster of CB Governor

Twenty civil society organisations including the Anti-Corruption Front spearheaded the good governance campaign to oust Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and brought this government in to power vowed to organise masses and stage street protests demanding the ouster of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, accused of infamous bond scandal.

Members of those civil organisations who attended a fully packed meeting at the Public Library Auditorium in Colombo this week in one voice demanded President Maithripala Sirisena to remove Mahendran, whose term of office is up for renewal on June 30.
He was accused of insider dealing by way of providing inside information to his son-in-law's firm, to make millions of rupees in profits from a central bank bond auction last year.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinge hailed as Mr.Calean should show his cleanness not only to Sri Lanka but also to the whole world by removing Mahendran from the helm of the country’s hall of financial fame and instigate investigations against him to recover the damage caused to the country through the bond deal, President of the Anti-Corruption Front the Ven.Ulapane Sumangala thera said.
Speaking to a fully packed audience of professionals, civic right activists, trade unionists, politicians including political party organisers at grass root level and journalists in pin drop silence, Ven. Sumangala thera said that Mahendran has breached the trust vested in him by the Prime Minister and the whole country.
This Singapore citizen is not fit and proper to hold the Post of Governor under the section 61 of the constitution but despite that he has been allowed to place his signature in local currency notes and continue to carry our his duties for over one year, he said alleging that he has made 48 foreign trips using public money and used domestic flights for his pleasure tours in the island with his family.
The Ven thera note that there were many allegations against him on his misconduct and the government should not allow him to leave the country like what he has done by leaving for Singapore in 2003 after destroying the Board of Investment during his tenure as its chairman from 2001 to 2003.
Announcing the decision to take to the streets mobilising masses if the President did not remove Mahendran from the post of Central Bank Governor, ACF convenor Keerthi Tennakoon noted that the conduct of Mahendran over the past 15 months has dashed the hopes of good governance and the present government is now moving towards the previous regime’s direction.
He alleged that Mahendran who was Chief Economist and Strategist – Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse Group AG and was its Head of Research for Asia Pacific since October 2006 had made an attempt very recently to include Credit Suisse with four other foreign banks Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered to raise $1.5 billion from the sale of a 10-year sovereign bond.
This was clear display of conflict of interest on the part of the Central Bank governor who is batting right and left in a friendly wicket even after causing billions of rupees in losses to the state regardless of any consequences as he thinks he can leave the country at any time to Singapore, Mr . Tennakoon said
He added that even at present he used to visit Singapore every weekend working four days in Sri Lanka.
Mahendran should not be allowed to leave the country taking a major slice of EPF money of private sector workers, he urged the authorities.
Good governance activist and former chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Chandra Jayaratne revealed that the Public Debt Department decided to go for Rs 10 Billion at the end of the auction last year due to the insistence of the Governor Mahendran.
He noted that Perpetual Treasuries owned by governor’s sun in law was the all successful bidder in getting 50 percent of that amount at the highest price compared to others. Even the Three Lawyers Committee, have stated in their report that this was an unusual thing warranting a full investigation.
Mr. Jayaratne said that these things could be proved as he has relevant documents faxed from the governess office itself but there was no such documentary proof to prove insider dealings of the highly questionable long term bond issues on January 8, 2016, February 5, 2016, March 29, 2016 and March 31, 2016.for Rs.121 that was sold around Rs.91 to this Primary dealer causing losses amounting to Rs.1.5 billion.
But revealing details of those latest bond issues has been effectively blocked by Mahendran and he has gone to the extent of directing his friendly officials to delete computer data, he alleged.
Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri of Colombo University reminded that their campaign is not against an individual but against the whole administration which is deviating from good governance.
He said that the government is now in the process of undressing its good governance clothing one by one and Governor Mahendran’s conduct reflects the government’s arbitrary actions distancing from the public.
Priyadharshani Amarasighe ,a civil society activist who was one of the ten members who joined hands with the late Ven. Madulawe Sobitha theratobring a common candidate to defeat Rajapaksa regime has warned te present government that it will have to face repercussions if they failed to fulfill good governance pledges given to the people.

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