Sri Lanka PM ready to face graft probe over bank bonds

"I will be happy to go and give my statement if I am asked to appear before the commission," Wickremesinghe said.

By: PTI | Colombo | Published:November 2, 2016 9:00 pm
Pakistani boat, gujarat, BSF, coast guard, gujarat coast, Pakistani boat, pakistani nationals, Pak boat seizure, surgical strikes, news, india news, indian express news Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. (File)

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said he is willing to face a probe in connection with a scam over Central Bank bonds.

“I will be happy to go and give my statement if I am asked to appear before the commission,” Wickremesinghe said.

He was responding to an opposition complaint against him yesterday after parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) found Wickremesinghe’s nominee, Arjuna Mahendran had facilitated big profits made by Perpetual Treasuries, a Central Bank primary dealer firm linked to Mahendran’s son-in-law. It was alleged that the firm had benefited from Mahendran’s position as the Central Bank chief.

“We have ordered investigation into a complaint against myself. This is the good governance we pledged. I allowed an opposition member to head COPE,” Wickremesinghe said.

He said the government did not want to suppress the investigation. The joint opposition led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for Wickremesinghe’s resignation saying he was responsible for what they termed the biggest scam in the country.

“We urge the President to take the Central Bank away from the Prime Minister’s control,” G L Peiris, a leading opposition leader said.

Wickremesinghe said the Attorney General has been instructed to institute legal action as appropriate.