Cabraal’s sister responds to allegation

Tuesday, 7 July 2015 01:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The sister of the former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Siromi Wickramasinghe responded to the assertion made in the leaked draft of the Committee on Public Enterprises Report in relation to the 27 February Treasury Bond auction.

The report had stated that as Siromi Noel Wickramasinghe, a sister of the former Governor occupied the position of a Director of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. from 23 December 2013 till 9 March 2015, it was observed that there could have been related party transactions in between the Central Bank and of Sri Lanka and Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. at that time also.

Siromi Wickramasinghe sent us the following statement:

The report as well as the comments made by one or two members of the COPE Investigation Sub-committee have supposedly attempted to draw a nexus of the former Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal to the Bond scam, by stating that Cabraal’s sister, Siromi Wickramasinghe was on the board of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., the primary dealer company owned and controlled by Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s son-in-law, that made the controversial bids for the Treasury bonds on 27 February 2015.

Based upon such premise, the draft report is also alleged to have observed that, ‘There could have been conflict of interest in the transactions carried out by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. at that time also’, thereby indirectly suggesting that scams in the nature of the February 2015 bond scam may have taken place during the tenure of office of the former Governor as well.

In this regard, the factual position is as follows: I, Siromi Wickramasinghe, Attorney at law, former Chairperson of the HDFC Bank and former Deputy General Manager of the Hatton National Bank, was never a member of the Board of Directors of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., and had not been involved at all in any transaction or bid that had been made by that company. However, the confusion or deliberate misrepresentation has probably arisen because I served as a member of the Board of Directors of Perpetual Capital Holdings Ltd., which is the owning company of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. and other companies within the Perpetual Group.

Further, while it is a fact that I was on the Board of Perpetual Capital Holdings Ltd. from 23 December 2013 until 9 March 2015, the holding company did not hold any board meetings during this period, and I have not received any monetary or other benefits from the company. Further, I also did not own any shares of the company.