“Ask the Prime Minister” Arjuna Mahendran passes the ball to PM at Bond Commission

“Ask the Prime Minister” Arjuna Mahendran passes the ball to PM at Bond Commission

“Ask the Prime Minister” Arjuna Mahendran passes the ball to PM at Bond Commission

Written by Staff Writer

10 Oct, 2017 | 10:47 pm

Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrema have been summoned before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Bond issuance.

They have been summoned regarding a ‘breakfast meeting’ on February 26, 2015 -just one day before the first Bond Scam.

Others who attended this meeting were;

  • Former Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake
  • Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran

Why is this meeting so significant?

According to witnesses, including Arjuna Mahendran, this is meeting is where the government, elected into office in 2015, had met at the Central Bank to discuss ‘urgent funding requirements’ they had found out on unpaid bills.

“Ask the Prime Minsiter”

March 17, 2015 – Prime Minister made a statement in the Parliament, defending the actions of Arjuna Mahendran and the Central Bank regarding the Bond Issue.

The PM said “I insisted on a public auction because private placements have lead to corruption and lack of transparency.” PM ended the statement saying “These are what the Primary dealers are saying”

Senior Solicitor General Dappula De Livera took extracts from that statement of the Premier and questioned Mahendren asking “do you know who these Primary Dealers are?” and questioned him on PM defending Mahendran.

That is when Arjuna Mahendran said that he does not know but “Ask the Prime Minister”.

Highlights of today’s proceedings at the Bond Commission

Arjuna Mahendran has said that he was not aware of the meeting in which the then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had instructed state banks to bid low at March 2016 auctions.

Mahendran says he was not aware that Central Bank Officials, including Former Deputy Governor P.Samarasiri were present at the meeting and said “nobody told him anything of such a meeting”.

A phone recording was played earlier at the commission which showed Arjun Aloysius the Chairman of Perpetual Group having knowledge that state banks would bid low at those auctions.

The Attorney Generals Department said Arjun Aloysius, with the assistance of Ravi Karunanayake, fixed the auction on the March 29, 2016.

The AGs Department claimed Mahendran was responsible for giving inside information to Arjun Aloysius.

But Arjuna Mahendran denied that claim.

When asked about Ravi Karunanayake’s penthouse style apartment in Colombo , Mahendran said he was not aware who paid the rent.

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