Written by Lahiru Fernando
13 Mar, 2015 | 10:19 pm
Chandra Jayaratne, a former Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, says the committee investigating the alleged fraud in a recent Central Bank bond issue, must be reconstituted immediately.
In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, Jayaratne says interested parties are not only attempting to frustrate the good intentions of the president’s response action, but are in fact insulting his stated commitment and undermining the high esteem the citizens have in him and his government.
In his letter, he questions, “Are Interested Parties Making a mockery of ‘Yahapalanaya’?”
The former chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce says the task of the inquiry panel is not to prosecute or prepare charge sheets for prosecution, and not even to examine contracts and interpret them in a legal interpretation.
He adds that thus criminal and civil lawyers, with no capability in the areas of banking, finance, macro economics, public finance management, securities and investments trading and associated procedures, processes, controls, compliance and international best practices will not be able to complete the tasks required to deliver a credible inquiry as one developed by persons with capability, independence and integrity of purpose.
Chandra Jayaratne suggests that the inquiry panel be reconstituted with immediate effect to comprise four members: a senior retired Central Bank official; a senior retired treasury manager of a commercial bank, a chartered financial analyst and a practicing chartered accountant.
He adds that it is best that the Central Bank Governor, whose purported related party interests are the subject of this inquiry, should demonstrate his personal commitment to the ongoing inquiry, preferably by taking voluntary leave of absence from official duties during the inquiry period.
According to the Ministry of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, a meeting was held Feb. 26 regarding budgetary matters. A group including the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Higher Education, Highways and Investment Promotion, the Treasury Secretary and the Governor of the Central Bank were among those present at the meeting.
Speaking to Newsfirst today, UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema confirmed that he too was present at the Feb. 26 meeting.
When questioned on in what capacity he was present, Samarawickrema noted that he attended the meeting in his capacity as a senior adviser to the Prime Minister. He also said that he did not discuss the bond issue and added that the Prime Minister had appointed a committee to investigate the allegations and if anyone is found guilty, action will be taken.
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