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Sri Lanka PM Wickremesinghe appears before bond probe panel

Prime News, International, Colombo, November 20:-  Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today appeared before a presidential investigation commission probing the issuance of bonds by the central bank, in what the opposition has alleged is the “biggest scam” in the country’s history.

Wickremesinghe is also the minister in-charge of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and has been accused of appointing his close friend Arjuna Mahendran as its Governor despite a conflict of interest involving Mahendran’s son-in-law’s links to primary dealer firm Perpetual Treasuries.

Perpetual Treasuries was alleged to have made thumping profits in two central bank bond issues in February 2015 and March 2016. The opposition has dubbed this as the “biggest financial scam in Sri Lanka’s history.”

Wickremesinghe spent over one hour before the presidential commission of inquiry investigating bond sales following his written submissions sent earlier.

“I had an opportunity to explain our government policy on public debt…,” Wickremesinghe said as he left after testifying.

“The president, secretary of our party and our ministers have come forward to fearlessly give evidence,” he said, adding, “the ‘yahapalanaya’ (good governance) will move forward. There is nothing to hide. There may have been mistakes, shortcomings, but the ‘yahapalanaya’ will move forward.”

The opposition has called for Wickremesinghe’s resignation over the alleged scandal.

-(NGB, Inputs: Agencies)

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