President and PM to decide on Ravi
Government Ministers and MPs from the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) have called for the removal of incumbent Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake over his involvement in the Treasury bonds scam at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), from the Cabinet of Ministers until such time he is cleared by the Presidential Commission inquiring and investigating into the matter or is acquitted by a Court of law.
A highly placed Government source, representing the United People’s Freedom Alliance and the SLFP who wished to remain anonymous said that not only had all SLFP members of the Government met President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in this regard and called for Karunanayake’s removal but also that UNP members of the Government including Ministers too had echoed the same sentiment to the duo.
The source also informed that both the President and Prime Minister had concurred with the said position.
A decision in this regard is definitely expected within the next couple of days and at the latest by next week, he added.
The decision that is expected follows in the wake of Karunanayake’s testimonial evidence given at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds, where he stated that he did not know that he and his family’s (wife and three daughters) current residence, a super luxury penthouse apartment, had initially been rented for him and his family by Arjun Aloysius, whose company, the primary bidder Perpetual Treasuries along with his father-in-law, former Governor of the CBSL, Arjuna Mahendran, are the primary perpetrators behind the infamous massive Treasury bonds scam. Karunanayake’s family has since purchased the said apartment outright at Rs 165 million.
Testifying before the Commission, Karunanayake preposterously claimed to have no knowledge of who had paid the lease on the said apartment, adding that a company in which his wife and one of his daughter’s were directors of and of which he had formerly been a director of, had been the ones with the knowledge of the deal and transaction involving the said apartment.
The Attorney General’s Department has, however, revealed through short message service texts obtained from Aloysius’s mobile phone and travel records pertaining to foreign travel engaged in by both Karunanayake and Aloysius that Karunanayake’s involvement in the matter including his relationship with Aloysius and Mahendran was far more firmly established on a personal level and deeply intimate in a business sense than he claimed it to be.
Also, a letter written by Karunanayake to Mahendran, requesting Rs 75 million allegedly for road development related projects too has become a point of contention owing to the fact that the letter was undated.
Karunanayake has since criticized the officers of the Attorney General’s Department of attempting character assassination by summoning and questioning him.