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Thursday, 04 January 2018 - 12:42
Will bond scam discourage foreign investors to Sri Lanka?
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President Maithripala Sirisena disclosed the contents of the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry that probed the Central Bank bond scam, in a televised address to the nation on 3rd of January.

He disclosed that the Presidential Commission of Inquiry has held former Governor of Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran responsible for causing a loss of Rs. 11,145 million to public institutions.

The Commission noted that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should not have acted upon promises given by the then Governor.

Mahendran was hand-picked by Wickremesinghe for the post of CBSL Governor in early 2015.

The Commission report also recommended legal action against former Minister Ravi Karunanayake for giving false evidence and corruption.

He was accused of financial links with the son-in-law of Mahendran, Arjun Aloysius, whose firm Perpetual Treasuries bought over 50% of the controversial bond auction in 2015.

The Commission has recommended legal action against Aloysius too, among others.

The findings of the Commission will definitely be a blow to the clean and corrupt free politics promised by the present government.

But in a more negative aspect, there's a possibility it would affect the investor interests in the Sri Lankan economy.

Although, the present government came into power promising to lure high-end foreign investors, so far it has failed to do so.

The much promised Volkswagen plant in Kurunegala was a hoax.

This was the Central Bank said about Sri Lanka's economy in its 2016 Annual Report, "The prevailing weak investment climate in Sri Lanka can be attributed to a range of factors including policy uncertainty, institutional weaknesses such as corruption and weak regulations, and faltering infrastructure".

Will the bond scam, which is regarded as one of the biggest 'white-collar' corruptions in Sri Lanka further affect the country's investment climate?

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