The Daily Mirror front page story, titled, “I placed signature 21,000 times to extradite Mahendran from Singapore: MS”, it further stated, ‘how he placed his signature 21,000 times, over a period of three days, on documents compiled by the Attorney General in order to prepare for the extradition of the former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran from Singapore.’ It has raised many an eye brow, apart from its hilarious back-splash. The former President has said that he strongly opposed the appointment of Singapore national Mahendran to the post of Governor of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank, [but he endorsed it!] an act he could have rejected it with just one signature!
Signature collection for setting records in the past have been for charitable events. Most number of signatures, Paul Melia collected a total of 216 signatures on a soccer ball. The record was part of a week-long charity event.
All money raised went to children’s charity. The most books signed by one author in a single session is 6,904, achieved by Vickrant Mahajan of India, in Jammu, for book titled “Yes Thank You Universe”, on January 30, 2016.
Sirisena made an excuse, when he said as only a few weeks had lapsed since the formation of the coalition government, at the time of the appointment he was compelled to agree with the former Prime Minister’s decision to appoint Mahendran, in order to ‘avoid disagreements between the two leaders.’ The truth is that he was under obligation to the vindictive forces with whom he conspired in October 2014 to betray his own party. He must not say something to save his own skin.
Former President Maithripala Sirisena will soon go to Guinness book of world records, though the Singapore government treated the 21000 signature document mildly and depreciated or dismissed the contents as unimportant; why? By making this announcement of 21000 signatures he has become a laughing stock. Even if you spend five seconds to place one signature, 21000 signatures will take roughly 30 hours; and still he was unable to get him down. When there were sufficient warnings by local and foreign intelligence about the Easter Sunday attacks he as Minister of Defense plus Law and Order left the island on a wedding shopping spree in Singapore, without making an acting arrangement. He must have placed his signature 21000 times on a petition. Probably he has been fooled by his secretary, or the officials of the AG’s department thinking that he can’t understand it contents?
"Maithripala Sirisena will soon go to Guinness book of world records, though the Singapore government treated the 21000 signature document mildly and depreciated or dismissed the contents as unimportant"
MS violated the constitution within minutes of his appointment as Executive President on January 9, 2015 by appointing a leader of a party with a minority of membership in the parliament as PM, his first act as new President. Dissolved Parliament on the eve of presentation of COPE report on Bond scam by DEW Gunasekara in 2015, thus depriving the Chairman of COPE from submitting it for representatives to debate that would have resulted in comprehending Mahendran and all others who aided and abetted the multi-billion rupee scandal. Sirisena re-appointed the main culprit Arjuna Mahendran to head the CB for an extended one year at the end of the first term, allowing him to carry out the second scam which was much larger in terms of the loot. He did not make a statement like in the first instance when he said, “as only a few weeks had lapsed since the formation of the coalition government, at the time of the appointment he was compelled to agree with the former Prime Minister’s decision to appoint Mahendran, in order to avoid disagreements between the two leaders.”
When he was first informed about the scam he correctly instructed his secretary to appoint a commission of inquiry, but withdrew under pressure and allowed the PM to appoint UNP lawyers commission, that helped the team of robbers to carry out a second scam.
Two things are clear; how much the Singapore Government cared for him, and to what extent the Singaporeans will safeguard their citizen. Sirisena was the one who appointed Mahendran, who recommended is only an excuse; it was he who was at fault. The UNP government led by Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken him for a ride!
If he was a respected head of state, one signature would have been good enough. This shows how weak he was as a leader. The world leaders, not only the Singapore PM, they all are well aware of his credentials, hence would ignore his claims. No harm in telling a lie or two once in a way, but telling unintelligent lies is another.
Singapore and Sri Lanka are members of Commonwealth, as such the Mutual Legal Assistance [MLA] is applicable to the two nations that covers extradition Laws as well as Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act of 2002. It’s a blatant negligence on the part of authorities or were they instructed by the political authority that was involved in the scam to soft peddle as happened in most cases during the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe marriage?
Maithri who threatened the breakaway group of SLFP in its initial stages, that if they form a new party that he will make them walk on streets, swallowed his pride and signed the nomination papers of the new party, while still holding the chairmanship of the now ‘defunct’ SLFP. Anyway, Maithripala Sirisena deserves accolades for keeping the public entertained.
Making a further explanation on the following day MS said, “Interpol was on the verge of arresting Mahendran and deport him in March 2019 after issuing a red notice, a few people highly influential and powerful in the Yahapalana Government had informed the Interpol that the allegations against Mahendran were politically motivated and therefore he must not be arrested and deported.” He lacked backbone to reveal the names. Vowing to bring all the criminals involved in the scam under a ‘future strong government’, MS said, he was confident that under a government led by President Rajapaksa, would ‘bring back Mahendran and expose all the wrongdoers.’
If proven, the Bond Scam-I of February 27, 2015, will be recorded in the history books as the biggest fiscal scandal ever carried out up to the time, and until the second, the large scale scandal was committed in end-March 2016 by the same team of corrupt high officials who were counseled, commanded, and induced to commit the criminal act by a powerful section in the ruling party who operated from both in and out of Parliament.
Yes, ‘bring back Mahendran and expose all the wrongdoers’, obviously, though, he did not share the loot, will the list exclude former President Sirisena for his role in indirect ‘aiding and abetting’ by failing to enforce his authority?
Author can be contacted at