Chandra sends open letter to political leaders on S&P’s report on Lankan banks

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 01:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Following is the text of an open letter sent by good governance activist Chandra Jayaratne to the Leaders of Peoples Alliance Parliamentary Group, United National Party Parliamentary Group, Tamil National Alliance Parliamentary Group, Janatha Vimuthi Peramuna Parliamentary Group, Democratic National Alliance Parliamentary Group with copies to the Speaker of Parliament, Secretary to the President, Secretary to the Treasury, Governor of the Central Bank, Auditor General, Chairman of the Bankers Association of Sri Lanka, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce,  President of the  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and Media for Information of Fellow Citizen.

It is duly recognized that there exists a Special Parliamentary Committee for consideration of Public Petitions, all as reflected in the attached note ( Annex A) extracted from the Parliamentary website.

It is further noted that there exists a specified procedure to be followed in forwarding such a petition to the Committee on Public Petitions in accordance with Standing Orders and further that the Standing Orders 25 A dealing with it requires the presentation of same to be by a member of parliament submitting a statement in a specified form.

I wish to draw the kind attention of the Leaders of Parliamentary Groups, to the “Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment,”  issued by Standard & Poor’s and published on 19 June 2012, titled “Sri Lanka Banking System Assigned Group ‘8’.”

My fellow citizens and I, in the context of our relationships as customers and depositors of banks and financial services institutions in Sri Lanka, (some of whom have very bitter experiences following the 2008 financial crisis and even as a consequence previous financial crises and financial scams) express our deep concern owing to the ‘amber signals’ of emerging risks highlighted in the aforesaid report.

My fellow citizens and I, have since seen a contradictory report issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, which categorically states that the Standard & Poor’s statement is factually incorrect, illogically analysed and is highly contradictory –

My fellow citizens and I, in continuing to engage with banks and financial Services institutions in Sri Lanka in regard to our relationships as customers and depositors, appeal to any member of Parliament represented by your respective groups in Parliament, to agree to present in the required form and conforming to Standing Order 25A, a public petition addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, requesting that the: “Public Petitions Committee of the Sri Lanka Parliament to take immediate steps to examine the veracity or other wise of the aforesaid Standard & Poor’s report and the contradictory report of the Central Bank,” and “advise me and my fellow citizens of the actual risks attaching to the regulated banks and financial services entities operating in Sri Lanka” and further “advise on the strategies and steps we as citizens must take in mitigating our risks in dealing with the said banks and financial Institutions as customers and depositors as well as investors in the shares of such companies.”

For this purpose, we appeal that the member concerned also initiate the Petitions Committee to summon before it, all relevant officials, business owners, business managers, professional associations representing the business sectors concerned, chambers of commerce, academics, specialist professionals, representatives of the Standard & Poor’s and the Central Bank as well as international monetary authorities and  international monetary specialists, as deemed appropriate.

I trust that you will realise the urgency and priority importance of the appeal herein set out, specifically made on behalf of the voting public of Sri Lanka and the society at large all of whom are represented in the legislature by you and your fellow members of Parliament.

I stand ready to link up with the member representing your group nominated by you in taking this initiative forward.