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An open letter to the Prime Minister of Singapore


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The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in force from March 1976 (Part II Article 15.2) of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ states as follows: “Nothing in this article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognised by the community of nations”

 

 

25 May 2018

His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister of Singapore

PMO – The Istana

Singapore

Your Excellency,

We are writing to you today as citizens of a neighbouring country maintaining extremely cordial and friendly relations with Singapore, ever since Singapore was born as a new country.

Our two countries are bonded together as members of the Commonwealth of Nations through the Commonwealth Secretariat and are committed to operate with inter-governmental consensus of the member states of the Commonwealth. 

We recall and hold with esteem respect and honour our admirations towards the first Prime Minister of Singapore, late Lee Kuan Yew, as a leading political figure in the region with outstanding achievements, accepted with open doors to any government anywhere in the world. We recollect with gratitude his extremely friendly attitude displayed towards our country throughout the tenure of his office as the Prime Minister.

Your Excellency, a few years ago one of your citizens (formerly a citizen of Sri Lanka) was invited by our Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to head a leading Government institution of our country.  His name is Luxman Arjun Mahendran and the institution he was invited to head was the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Arjun Mahendran was appointed, designated as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in January 2015. 

Shortly thereafter, in February that year the news of a controversial Treasury bond transaction broke out spreading shock waves in the economic circles of the country culminating into a public demand for an investigation by the authorities to divulge the true facts relating to the issue. Despite several futile attempts by some politicians to shield the matter, the Parliament of Sri Lanka decided to refer the case to be inquired into by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), a standing committee, of the Parliament.

In October 2016 COPE revealed that the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Arjun Mahendran should be held responsible for the bond issue scam and legal action should be initiated against him. However President Maithripala Sirisena announced the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry, under the existing laws of Sri Lanka to further investigate the case.

This Bond Commission after protracted investigations and leading evidence of several persons including Governor Arjun Mahendran and the Prime Minister Wickremasinghe, over a period of 10 months long deliberations, issued its report on 16 January 2018. This is now a public document of the country.

The Commission of Inquiry has recommended the institution of legal action against those involved in the scam including Arjun Mahendran.  Accordingly the Attorney General of Sri Lanka has filed legal action and the courts have commenced the judicial process prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Department.

Two of the accused are in remand jail under Court orders and summons have been issued to Arjun Mahendran to appear before Courts.

The legal authorities of the Government have informed Courts that he could not be traced at the address given by him in Singapore to serve the Summons on him. Courts have now issued an open warrant to arrest him. Sri Lanka Police, it is reported, has sought the assistance of the Interpol to arrest him to be produced to courts for the judicial inquiry. Interpol’s Singapore branch has now informed Criminal Investigation Department of Sri Lanka that Arjun Mahendran is in Singapore.

The Commission of Inquiry has pointed out inter alia possibilities of conflict of interest and insider dealings associated with this scam.  The country is waiting to see the wrong doers being dealt with according to law and to the recovery of several billions of State funds squandered in the process of the scam.

The economy of the country is also in dire states. When the bond scam came to light the country was caught up in a huge debt trap.  The position has been worsened many fold due to the scam.

Therefore, we appeal to you, as citizens of a friendly neighbouring country, to use your good office as a friendly gesture to help the authorities to arrest your citizen who is required here to face legal action of a fair trial in accordance with known recognised judicial norms assured by the Government of Sri Lanka under the guidance of our Prime Minister.

In the context of the most recently developed relations of the two nations to agree on trade policies to encourage travel-related business, tourism, immigration and providing people with opportunities to enhance their mutual livelihood, your kind response to our earnest appeal would be appreciated whole-heartedly and passionately by the people of Sri Lanka.

Yours truly,

Tennekone Rusiripala

A member of the team providing information to the Commission of Inquiry


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