By Sandun A Jayasekera
Some government members are hoping to request President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resume legal proceedings on the Central Bank bond scam despite the absence of the main suspect, Central Bank’s former governor Arjuna Mahendran, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said yesterday.
He told a news briefing that former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe could not get away from this scandal and must also be made an accused in the case.
“It was Mr. Wickremesinghe who brought the CB, which was administrated by the Finance Ministry under the purview of his Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs in 2015 and handpicked Mahendran for the post of governor ignoring vehement protests by former president Maithripala Sirisena and several former ministers including Patali Champika Ranawaka and Rajitha Senaratne. Mr. Mahehdran in his evidence had said he acted on the instructions of Mr. Wickremesinghe,” he said. The state minister said in response to the Daily Mirror that charges of misappropriation of public money could also be brought against Mr. Wickremesinghe on the leasing of the DPJ building and that the Auditor General’s report was enough evidence to file charges against Mr. Wickremesinghe. “The President will take legal action against all corrupt politicians and officials who have engaged in various corrupt deals,” the state minister said.
He said that it was he who fired Mr. Mahendran from his post in 2018 when he was acting finance minister when Mr. Wickremesinghe and Mangala Samaraweera were out of the country. He said he believed that the bond scam had caused a loss of rupees one trillion.