President puts pressure on bond scam probe

Thursday, 29 August 2019 01:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Orders swifter investigations on bond scam

  • Says continued delays hindering delivery of justice 

  • Tells officials they have his full support 

  • Bottlenecks of investigation discussed 

  • Four interim reports handed over, rest to be given by Dec.  


President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday instructed relevant authorities to expedite investigations connected to the Central Bank bond scam, insisting continued delays were hindering the quest for justice, and pledging his fullest support to hold those responsible accountable. 

President Maithripala Sirisena
Arjuna Mahendran
Arjun Aloysius

The President advised prompt attention to aspects of the investigation yet to be completed, and to take action against the wrongdoers. Sirisena also said the delays in conducting investigations were a hindrance to delivering justice to the public.

The President made these remarks during a meeting held with the members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to investigate the controversial bond deals, conducted in February 2015, and other officials of different State institutions, including the Finance Ministry and Central Bank. The meeting was held at the President’s Office, the President’s Media Unit said in a statement. 

During this meeting, it was revealed that at present, four interim reports have been handed over and the remaining reports could be presented by December.

The officials pointed out that even though they have requested banks to provide documents related to money laundering for the last five years, banks had not yet provided this information, and as a result a bottleneck has been created, impeding the ability to conduct further investigations.

The Attorney General’s Department updated the President, and noted that charges have been filed and key suspects had been indicted under the Penal Code. It was also stated that evidence will be presented through affidavits before this December.

President Sirisena further said he will provide maximum support to expedite investigations.

Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, officials from the Attorney General’s Department, the acting Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickremaratne, senior Police officers and others participated at this meeting.

In June the Attorney General (AG) filed indictments against former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, his son-in-law Perpetual Treasuries owner Arjun Aloysius, and eight others before the three-member Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The Attorney General has presented 23 charges under the Public Property Act and Registered Stocks and Securities Ordinance, for causing losses to the State with questionable bond transactions. The AG’s Department said they will summon 115 people to give evidence, and will present 236 documents to court to prove the charges. 

On 13 June, the AG received the approval of the Chief Justice to hear the case before the Permanent High Court-at-Bar.

Lakshman Arjuna Mahendran, CBSL’s former Deputy Governor Paththinige Samarasiri, Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. owner Arjun Joseph Aloysius, CEO Kasun Oshadee Palisena, and directors Jeffery Joseph Aloysius, Pushya Mithra Gunawardane, Chitta Ranjan Hulugalle, Muthuraja Surendran and Ajahn Gardier Punchihewa were indicted by the Attorney General in connection with the bond scam.

The Treasury bond auction held on 27 February 2015 (in respect of the face value of Rs. 10.058 billion) caused a Rs. 688 million loss to the Government, investigators have said.  


Cabinet nod to send PCoI report on Sri Lankan to AG

Three new Trials-at-Bar to hear high profile cases