Presidential Commission into Bond Issue: Presence of non-minister in payment discussions meeting revealed

Presidential Commission into Bond Issue: Presence of non-minister in payment discussions meeting revealed

Presidential Commission into Bond Issue: Presence of non-minister in payment discussions meeting revealed

Written by Keshala Dias

23 Mar, 2017 | 8:38 pm

The attendance of a meeting dated February 26, 2015, surprised the crowd at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry today, March 23.

Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ananda Silva said Ministers Ravi Karunanayake and Kabir Hashim along with Road Development Authority officials were present for the meeting on February 26, 2015.

Notably, Malik Samarawickrama who was not a Minister at that time, had also attended the meeting which discussed the re-payment for stalled road construction contracts and the review of some.

Silva says, the outcome of the meeting did not indicate an imminent need to make payments, and no request was made to raise money from the next auction.

Today’s witness confirmed statements made by three earlier witnesses on the visit made by former Governor Arjuna Mahendran to the Public Debt Department on February 27,February 2015.

This was moments after the auction closed.

The witness also confirmed that there was contradiction between the draft and confirmed minutes of the Monetary Board Meeting dated February 23,2015.

Former Deputy Governor Ananda Silva testified on oath that former Governor Mahendran called him over the phone on February 24, 2015 to instruct the Superintendent of Public Debt to go for a 30 year bond ‘quickly’.

The witness was questioned on Mahendran’s directive to cease Direct Placements.

He responded that the authority to make such a decision lies with the Monetary Board.

P. Samarasiri, the Deputy Governor of Central Bank is to give evidence before the Commission of Inquiry on Monday, March 27.

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