Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is prepared to face the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Central Bank Treasury Bonds auctions, says his office. A press communiqué from the Prime Minister’s Office, yesterday claimed that the Premier is willing to face the Presidential Commission, in order to clarify doubts regarding the matter. It explained that the decision had been arrived at after the Prime Minister’s name was mentioned on several occasions during the Commission proceedings.
The communiqué stated that Premier Wickremesinghe will testify before the Commission, anytime if required. The statement read that the present Government rose to power on 8 January following pledges to uphold democracy and ensure good governance.
Accordingly, the Prime Minister’s Office highlighted that the Government will investigate all allegations hurled at it and accusations levelled against State employees.
The Prime Minister’s office opined that the present administration will continue to follow the same principle in the future.
The Premier’s name surfaced on several occasions during recent examination of witness evidence; the most recent was when Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, PC, questioned former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran about the Prime Minister defending him in Parliament, following the 27 February 2015 Treasury Bonds auction.
When questioned on the reasons for PM’s defence, Mahendran pleaded unawareness, and said that the Commission should “Ask the Prime Minister”.
Last August, text messages recovered from Arjun Aloysius’ mobile phone, by the Commission, refer to the ‘Prime Minister’ and ‘R.K’.
The Commission heard that 8,600 pages of documents filled with details had been downloaded from Aloysius’ mobile phone.
Among them were several that the Attorney General’s Department said, mentioned two people referred to in various ways as ‘Hon. PM’ and ‘RK’ or ‘PM or Hon. Ravi K’. ,
These references were in text messages received by Aloysius and discussed the obtaining of minutes of a certain Monetary Board meeting.
This startling revelation was made when the Attorney General’s Department was questioning the former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who appeared before the Commission.