- Ravi’s father Mahanama Karunanayake died when Ravi was 12 years old
- President Sirisena installed Ravi as Finance Minister at Wicremesinghe’s recommendation
- Onella was summoned by CID for allegedly giving false evidence before PCoI on Bond Scam
Ravi Karunanayake’s eldest daughter Onella posted an emotional plea three years ago on Facebook asking why only her father to be blamed “in such a huge Government?” Ravi K while testifying at the PCoI on Bond scam also asked the same question from the AG when questioned about the undated letter sent under his signature.
Extract from Onella’s press release says: ‘my father said, “I can accept the spearing of an enemy’s arrow but the pin pricking of friends is much more hurtful,” after visiting the commission.’ She continued, ‘I have learnt bitterly over the years that politics is a dirty game and some in it will stop at nothing to achieve the individual goals no matter who they hurt along the way.’
1962 Coup leader: CC Dissanayake DIG
IGP, MFW Abeykoon, [in an unprecedented move, SWRD decided to bring in a stranger, a Buddhist from the Ceylon Civil Service to head the Police Department, overlooking several seniors in the service because they all were non-Buddhists] oblivious to happenings in the Department under him, the IGP was playing bridge on Saturday evening of January 27, 1962 at the Orient Club when he received information about a conspiracy to overthrow the government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike at midnight, and that all plans had been finalised by a group of very senior police and military gazetted officers. He immediately called Stanley Senanayake –SP Colombo to the Club, who confirmed that a coup was being planned. They decided that it had to be conveyed to Deputy Minister of Defence, Felix Dias Bandaranaike.
31-year-old Bandaranaike acting swiftly, left for Temple Trees to appraise the PM of the imminent danger. It was 8.00 pm, he summoned the three service chiefs and Stanley Senanayake along with his father-in-law P. de S. Kularatne-MP, who conveyed the news to IGP. Senanayake revealed details stating that the PM, some of her cabinet, Felix Dias, N. Q. Dias, the defence secretary, the service chiefs, the IGP, the director CID and certain political leaders were to be arrested, and that the plot had been hatched by Senior DIG CC Dissanayake [who was the twin brother of SA, also a DIG with the same seniority, and were each other’s rival over a private family clash, and both waiting for an opportunity to settle scores against each other], DIG Sydney de Zoysa [Retd.] and Col. Maurice de Mel, FC de Saram - Commandant Volunteer Force and Royce de Mel - Navy Commander.
Former diplomat and writer, and maternal uncle of Ravi Karunanayake, TDSA Dissanayaka recalls personal memories of the famous Coup of 1962 in which his father, CC Dissanayake DIG and others were involved. Extracts from ‘The Politics of Sri Lanka’Vol II.
"President Sirisena installed him as the Minister of Finance on PM Wicremesinghe’s recommendation. Wickremesinghe addressed Parliament on March 17, two weeks after the robbery"
‘…My father said, “Jirasinghe, I forgot to tell you. No officer of mine will carry even side arms tonight. Please leave your revolver at home.”
“This will be a real gentlemen’s coup, exactly what Gen. Ayub Khan did in Pakistan a few years ago. After you complete the duties assigned to you from 2200 to 0100 hours tonight you will assist the army at Temple Trees”…. …our headache is Sirima, …she can go to England with the children… Col. F C de Saram, who is an Oxford Blue will arrange Sunethra to enter Oxford…, Sirimavo can run a home there…”
Shortly after midnight that night, detachments of the Army, Navy and Air Force surrounded our home and arrested my father. When he was taken away, for the last time he wore his uniform.
In the morning I had a telephone call from the Welikade Prison asking me to bring his clothes and toiletries and to take away his uniform. By that time ASP Jirasinghe,ASP Johnpillai and Col. de Saram were also inside the Welikade prison. Altogether thirty one people, Commissioned Officers from the Army and the Navy, Gazetted Officers from the Police and one civil servant were arrested.
"Former diplomat and writer, and maternal uncle of Ravi Karunanayake, TDSA Dissanayaka recalls personal memories of the famous Coup of 1962 in which his father, CC Dissanayake DIG and others were involved"
Onella’s great-grandfather, a distinguished policemen, Cyril Cyrus Dissanayake DIG was accused 58 years ago for his role in the aborted Coup de` tat to topple the government and was sentenced to ten years RI and confiscation of property. [later quashed by the Privy Council of UK on a technical point.]Onella’s paternal grandmother, Carmaleka [Carmy] née Dissanayake, daughter of former DIG married on January 20, 1962, exactly a week before her farther was arrested [on 27] at Galle Face Hotel, where her great grandparents, evidently, Ravi’s grandparents married on Jan 20, too and passing down the family tradition to third generation Ravi himself married Onella’s mother, on the same month and day [January 20] at the same venue - Galle Face Hotel.
Ravi’s father Mahanama Karunanayake died when Ravi was 12 years old. Mother Carmi, kept the home fires burning by working at the Presidential Secretariat during JR and R. Premadasa’s times as Chief House Keeper.
President Sirisena installed Ravi as the Minister of Finance on PM Wicremesinghe’s recommendation. Wickremesinghe addressed Parliament on March 17, two weeks after the robbery.
He said, “…Change is happening. Instead of poverty, corruption and injustice, people see hope of prosperity, good governance and justice…. As a result of past misdeeds, the Central Bank has now been forced to embark on the task of re-building their credibility and standing as the country’s most credible financial institution. …the spin masters have turned the institution into a wasteland… of mismanagement and misrule. They have been adopting a system of private placements of bonds. The criteria they adopted allowed the Central Bank to cut deals with Primary Dealers. Rebuilding international confidence and credibility has become an uphill task.- Hansard-17/03/2015.
"Onella’s great-grandfather, a distinguished policemen, Cyril Cyrus Dissanayake DIG was accused 58 years ago for his role in the aborted Coup de` tat to topple the government and was sentenced to ten years RI and confiscation of property"
Ravi’s daughter Onella had to appear before the CID in June 2019 to give a statement over allegedly giving false evidence before the PCoI on Bond Scam. Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne on May 31, ordered the CID to file action against her, if it was evident that she had willingly neglected to follow the court order where she was directed to submit, relevant documents to the CID, including the Director Board reports of Global Transportation and Logistics, owned by the Karunanayakes.
Ravi K, a Chartered Accountant, was Finance Minister minus Central-Bank, a unique situation [by splitting the ministry into three] created during its initial stages by the perpetrators who hatched the conspiracy to rob the bank. Perhaps the then Chairman of a governing party and his friend who co-headed the yahapalana knew their junior school-mates capacity, and wanted him kept in the dark.
Arjuna Mahendran was one of the then Prime Minister’s favourites even during his short-lived Premiership 2001-2004. Mahendran was appointed as Chairman BOI. The swindlers, certainly would get exposed—all those concerned will be named and prosecuted.
Writer can be contacted at - kksperera1gmail.com