Written by Zulfick Farzan
12 Jul, 2022 | 9:07 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Fugitive Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Arjuna Mahendran has told CNN Philippines that the Sri Lankan Government is finding it difficult to persuade lenders.
“Because of the accumulation of previous debt, the Government is finding it difficult to persuade lenders, even neighboring India to put in fresh money,” said Mahendran.
Speaking on the reasons that led to the present crisis in Sri Lanka, Arjuna Mahendran said that the new government that came in cut taxes abruptly which created this inflationary pressure because most of the government spending had been funded by the printing of new money.
“There was a change in agricultural policy regarding the imports of fertilizer, where there was a switch from Chemical Fertilizer to Organic and that deeply affected the plantations which export tea and other products. Once COVID struck Sri Lanka the economy was already faltering. This is why Sri Lanka has been affected much earlier than other countries,” he added.
“I am informed that the Prime Minister is back at work, He is in his office. So, the government is functioning. and there are crucial talks going on regarding the economy and economic policy in general which has to be set right and fast before the economic crisis results in starvation and unnecessary pain for the population of Sri Lanka,” he said.
Arjuna Mahendran is the 1st suspect in the case filed over the Central Bank Treasury Bond Scam of 2015 & 2016.
In the Treasury Bond Scam, Perpetual Treasuries Limited, a primary dealer company owned by Arjun Aloysius benefited from Insider Information given by then Governor of CBSL Arjuna Mahendran, who is also the Father-in-Law of Aloysius.
According to reports, he fled Sri Lanka for Singapore soon after the irregularities in the Central Bank bond transactions came to light and the commencement of the investigations from different establishments.
Extradition requests made from Singapore, along with the two Red Notices for the arrest of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, issued through INTERPOL, are still pending a response.
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