Colombo, Nov 20 (IANS) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday appeared before a special commission which is probing a treasury bond scam at the country’s central bank after the present government was elected in January 2015.
Wickremesinghe is the first Prime Minister in Sri Lanka’s history to appear before a special commission of inquiry appointed by a President, reports Xinhua news agency.
The commission is probing the controversial sale of treasury bonds during the period of the former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran who is alleged to have caused losses amounting to millions of dollars to the island country’s coffers.
Mahendran was appointed the central bank chief in 2015 by Wickremesinghe before the bonds scam but resigned a year later.
The opposition have been calling on the government to probe if the prime minister was aware of the scam.
Wickremesinghe was questioned for an hour by the commission on Monday, during which he said he had an opportunity to explain the government policy on public debt and clear his name.
“The president, secretary of our party and our ministers have come forward to fearlessly give evidence,” Wickremesinghe said after his hearing.
“The ‘yahapalanaya’ (good governance) will move forward. There is nothing to hide. There may have been mistakes, shortcomings, but the ‘yahapalanaya’ will move forward.”
Many senior ministers attended the hearing on Monday.
Wickremesinghe was invited before the commission following his public announcement last month that he was willing to testify should the commissioners require any clarification from him about government policy on bonds.
The commission had initially submitted a list of questions to the Prime Minister which he answered through an affidavit but he was summoned to appear personally for further clarifications.
President Maithripala Sirisena appointed the three-member commission earlier this year to investigate if the country lost billions of rupees as alleged by the opposition as a result of the bond scam.
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