By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Senior economic advisor to Prime Minister, Ajith Nivard Cabraal said he would make a request to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to initiate an independent Police inquiry on the Central Bank bond scam in early 2015 and dealings in the bond market between 2010 – 2014 period as the so-called forensic inquiry, COPE inquiry chaired by JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunnetti and the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) appointed by former President Maithripala Sirisena were incomplete, biased and didn’t expose those who were directly responsible for the financial crimes in the bond market in 2015.
Mr. Cabraal who is also the former Central Bank Governor added that an independent police inquiry was the most reliable probe because any probe initiated involving the Central Bank and politicians could not be flawless and clean.
He told a news briefing at the Temple Trees last morning that he was ready to ‘Tell All’ at a police probe and directly expose all those who masterminded the financial scam that took place in January and March 2015 – the largest in the banking history of Sri Lanka – involving the primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries Ltd, former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran hand picked for the job by then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ignoring the protests by President Sirisena and a number of cabinet members and certain top Central Bank officials.
“What is the credibility of this Audit Inquiry? The BDO India LLP and KPMG Sri Lanka had been awarded contract for the forensic audits into securities fraud involving the sale of bonds, by the Central Bank. Though the Forensic Audit had been carried out by the Indians at a cost of Rs. 275 million paid by the Central Bank, the report had been signed by the KPMG, Sri Lanka. I have reliable information that the Audit Inquiry is also a cover up influenced by top politicians of the yahapalana government targeting me and Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. Besides, the BDO India has several court cases against it in that country. The Indian government had suspended its activities in India for two years,” Mr. Cabraal stressed.
He pointed his accusing finger at COPE Chairman of the previous Parliamentary session Mr. Handunnetti and added that he has acted on direct instructions of former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. “I am ready to face this probe as I have nothing to hide. At the same time, I like to expose skeletons of a number of top politicians of the Ranil Wickremesinghe regime. Only then the people of this country would know what actually happened under the nose of Ranil and certain members of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank under Mahendran. But I also believe that a probe can be carried out with or without Mahendran and take legal action against those actually involved in the scandal,” Mr. Cabraal emphasized.