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CB Bond Issue Call For Independent Probe

Anura Kumara Dissanayake / Mahendran

The JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has called for an impartial investigation into the controversial Central Bank bond issue, saying that Sri Lanka’s leftist party JVP is not satisfied with bond investigation outcome
Addressing a media briefing on Thursday, the JVP leader criticized Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for not appointing an independent team for the probe.

“We can’t be satisfied with that team. PM is like the previous president that tried to protect his colleagues,” said Dissanayaka.

Meanwhile Arjuna Mahendran, the Governor of the Central Bank in Sri Lanka, has resumed duties after being cleared by the panel investigating the allegations over the government bond auction.

The panel of legal experts, appointed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, probing the February 27 auction, has said that it had cleared Mr Mahendran of any direct involvement in the decision to increase the size of the sale by 10 times.

The panel has also called for tighter supervision of the government’s borrowing office.

The Opposition parties had demanded that the services of the CB Governor should be terminated with immediate effect and an independent probe should be held into the allegations.

With these demands from the Opposition, Mr Mahendran, a Sri Lankan-born Singapore national, went on leave on March 16. He was questioned by the Anti-Corruption Authority and banned from travelling abroad.

At the said auction, the government had raised more than Rs.10 billion ($75.2 million) from the sale of a 30-year treasury bonds at a yield of 11.73 per cent, after initially offering just Rs. 1 billion with an indicative price of 9.5 per cent.

The allegation by the Opposition is that the higher yield would cost the government an extra Rs. 45 billion ($338.60 million) and that the government was attempting to cover up the issue with a mere commission report.

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