Eighty eight MPs sign no confidence motion against CB Governor

Ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers among them

By Saman Indrajith

Three cabinet ministers, three state ministers and three deputy ministers are among the 88 members who have signed a no confidence motion against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

They are Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena (Cabinet Minister of Parliamentary Affairs), Reginald Cooray (Cabinet Minister of Aviation Services), Piyasena Gamage (Cabinet Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training), Dilan Perera (State minister of Housing and Samurdhi), Jeevan Kumaratunga (State Minister of Labour), C.B.Ratnayake (State Minister of Public Administration and Democratic governance), Jagath Pushapakumara (Deputy Minister of Plantations), Lakshaman Seneviratne (Deputy Minister of Disaster Management) and Shantha Bandara (Deputy Minister of Mass Media).

The no confidence motion now included in the Parliamentary Order Book according to the Addendum to the Order Book No 14 released yesterday has seven charges against Governor Mahendran. 

 It says: "After Arjuna Mahendran, who is a Singaporean citizen and a closest acquaintance of the Prime Minister, was appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in the latter part of January 2015, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has sharply deteriorated within the short time in which he has held office and this has brought the whole country to disrepute and caused a financial loss as well.

"Arjuna Mahendran has intentionally caused a huge loss to the government and the whole economy by awarding in an absolutely corrupt manner the 30-year Treasury bonds issued on 27th February 2015 by the Public Debt Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to Perpetual Treasuries, which is the primary dealer firm that belongs to his son-in-law; in that transaction, by increasing the interest rate of the country unnecessarily and artificially to benefit the firm of his son-in-law he had paved the way to earn undue profit of Rs. 200 crores for that firm and therefore only during the period of last 6 weeks the Government of Sri Lanka experienced an interest loss of about Rs. 4,500 crores which is the biggest interest loss in the Sri Lankan history, apart from that the overall interest rate in the whole financial system was increased due to the fraudulent act of Mr Arjuna Mahendran and the whole population in the country loses the benefits enjoyed when the inflation rate of the country was maintained at a mid-single digit for more than 6 years and owing to that, the other primary role of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, maintaining stability of the price is in great peril today.

"Owing to the artificially manipulated interest rate caused by the action of Arjuna Mahendran, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on 27th February 2015 all other interest rates were affected and therefore compared to the interest rates of the previous day the interest rates increased by nearly 30% and this increase in the interest rates resulted in businessmen, rent payers, house builders and all others who obtain loans suffering and as a result of a great number of citizens having to pay high interest rates, there is an imminent danger of increasing the amount of bad debts in banks and non-banking institutions and thereby posing the other major function of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to maintain the stability of financial system is at stake as at today. 

"Colombo Stock Market has rapidly collapsed through the loss of confidence in the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka which continues to grow day by day, as a result of the actions pointed out above and through that, it has been estimated that market capitalization of Sri Lankan Companies has already declined by a value more than Rs. 2,000 crores within the last 100 days alone.

"Arjuna Mahendran, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has displayed through his practice that he is not fit to hold the said onerous, prestigious Office in view of the aforementioned facts; he has made efforts to fulfil certain political objectives and other personal objectives of the United National Party, his actions, orders and conduct have caused a severe damage, loss and discredit to the Government of Sri Lanka and the national economy; that this Parliament is of the opinion that Arjuna Mahendran, should be dismissed from the Office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka forthwith."

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