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 "I admit that it's a serious matter that when the uncle is head of the bank, the son-in-law is a primary buyer" -- what Premier said at Commission

"I admit that it's a serious matter that when the uncle is head of the bank, the son-in-law is a primary buyer" -- what Premier said at Commission

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasingha said at President's Investigation Commission yesterday (20) after taking oaths that he admits that it is a serious situation that at the time the uncle happens to be the head of the Central Bank, his son-in-law is a primary buyer and though Mahendran has kept on asking Aloysius to keep away from such activities
Mahendran had told him (Prime Minister) that he had been asking for extensions and had thus kept on engaging in those activities. Mahendran had also told him that at one time Aloysius was to establish an alcohol distilleries and that he had stated that "I of course have no interest in alcohol", the Prime Minister said in the presence of the Commission.

The Premier in response to a question posed by Chairman of the Commission, Judge Mr. K.T. Chitrasiri, mentioned that he was aware that Perpetual Treasuries Company had been dealing with other affiliated companies. On a question asked by Supreme Court Judge Mr. Prasanna Jayawardena whether Sri Lanka's Central Bank has legal authority or opportunity to accumulate monies required by the government without approval of the treasury, what the Prime Minister said was that the chief of the Central Bank Mahendran, Secretary of the Treasury H.S. Samaratunga and Premier's Economic Advisor R. Paskeralingam all get together and discuss that matter in such an instance.

On being questioned whether the the Sri Lanka Central Bank and the transaction which took place with its chief and his son-in-law which became an issue to the whole country did not become a problem to him, in which instance what the Prime Minister said was that the entire monetary control completely belongs not to him but to the parliament.

Judge: Providing an answer to the 12th question asked by the Commission directed to you, haven't you stated that it was necessary to pay a sum of Rs. 13.55 billion to the contractors?

Prime Minister: Yes ... I have said so.

Q: By March 2nd, 2015 did you issue orders on February 27th, 2015 to launch the 'questionable' bond auction in order to settle those monies?

R: I did not give orders.

Q: Are you aware that the operations department of the Sri Lanka Central Bank has not approved any such thing?

R: I do not know.

Q: That treasury Operations Department has rejected this matter on February 24th, 2015.

R: I was not aware.

Q: As monetary requirements of the state should directly be conveyed to the treasury and not to the Central Bank, were you not even aware that those activities should be carried out across the above-said department?

R: Yes, I knew that.

Q: Do you admit that an emergency requirement for finances such as this was discussed on February 24th and 26th, 2015?

R: Yes, I admit.

Q: Even after chief Arjun Mahendran had told you did you take any steps to suspend transactions that took place between companies of Arjun Aloysius and the Central Bank?

R: It is the duty of the chief of the Central Bank.

The Prime Minister who arrived in the presence of the Commission at 9.50 am took oaths from the dock under guidance of the interpreter and commenced providing his evidence avowing that it would be the truth and not otherwise.

Initially 28 questions of the Commission sent by the Commission on 10.10.2017 to the witness by Supreme Court Judge Mr. K.T. Chitrasiri, Chairman of the Commission together with affidavits and his responses of 20.10.2017 and subsequently 20 questions deduced to be asked from the Prime Minister on 01.11.2017 by Dappula de Livera and and Yasantha Kodagoda, senior Additional Solicitor Generals and the 2 President Counsels and the responses given to those were forwarded with affidavits by witness on 18.11.2017 and were subjected to inspection and subsequently were marked as C-3-61, C-3-62,C-3-53 and C-3-64 as being those relevant for inquiry of evidence by the Commission.

Subsequently, through this process from among responses provided by the Prime Minister, Question Nos. 5, 01 and 02 and its responses were forwarded and matters were questioned in order to confirm them further. As such, securing evidence was brought to a close with Mr. K.T. Chitrasiri, Chairman of the Commission and Supreme Court Judge stated that proceedings of inquiry of evidence of the Commission has ended.
(Inquiry of evidence which began at 9.00 am ended by about 11.20 am).

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