Action favoured against ex-bank governor in Sri Lanka

Colombo, Oct 28 (IANS) A Sri Lankan parliamentary committee on Friday recommended legal action against former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and officials involved in controversial bond deals.

Sunil Handunetti, Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) said evidence brought before it had raised reasonable doubt that Mahendran should be held directly responsible over the bond transaction amounting to millions of dollars, Xinhua news agency reported.

Presenting the COPE report to Parliament, Handunetti said legal action should be taken against Mahendran and other responsible individuals.

He said Perpetual Treasuries, a firm connected to Mahendran’s son-in-law, made enormous profits from the deals.

The committee recommended that action should be taken to examine and recover any losses to the state and central bank.

The Central Bank should also conduct its own probe and come up with procedures to make auctions transparent, the Committee said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government will respect the report and proposed that it be sent to the Attorney General for further action.

The joint opposition, stanch supporters of former President Mahinda Rajapakse, has called for a debate in Parliament on the contents of the report.

Mahendran was appointed as Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor by President Maithripala Sirisena in January 2015.

The Central Bank announced he would not seek an extension of his term which ended on June 30.