Colombo, Nov 20 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Monday appeared before a special Presidential Commission which is probing a treasury bond scam at Sri Lanka’s central bank after the new government was elected in January 2015.
Wickremesinghe appeared after he was summoned by the Commissioners.
He is the first Prime Minister in Sri Lankan history to appear before a special commission of inquiry appointed by a President.
The Commission is probing the controversial sale of treasury bonds during the period of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran which is alleged to have caused losses amounting to millions of dollars to the island’s coffers.
Perpetual Treasuries, a firm connected to Mahendran’s son-in-law is alleged to have made enormous profits from the deals.
Mahendran was appointed the Central Bank Chief in 2015 by Wickremesinghe but resigned a year later.
Wickremesinghe was questioned for an hour by the Commission regarding the Bond Scam during which he said he had an opportunity to explain the government policy on public debt and clear his name.
The Opposition have called on the government to probe if the Prime Minister was aware of the scam.
“The President, Secretary of our party and our ministers have come forward to fearlessly give evidence,” Wickremesinghe told journalists after conclusion of his hearing.
“The yahapalanaya (good governance) will move forward. there is nothing to hide. There may have been mistakes, shortcomings, but the yahapalanaya will move forward,” he added.
Many senior ministers attended the hearing on Monday.
Wickremesinghe was invited before the commission following his public announcement last month that he was willing to testify should the commissioners require any clarification from him about government policy on bonds.
The Commission had initially submitted a list of questions to the Premier which he answered through an affidavit but he was summoned to appear personally in order to clear some clarifications.
Former Foreign Minister, Ravi Karunanayake also resigned from his ministerial post in August following allegations by the opposition that he had links to Mahendran and his son in law, Arjuna Aloysious during the time the scam took place.
President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a three-member commission earlier this year to investigate if the country lost billions of rupees as alleged by the opposition as a result of the bond scam.