Published On: Tue, Jun 28th, 2016

Eran Wickramaratne to be named next CB Governor?

1251450419eranThe government is likely to appoint Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne as the next Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, according to political sources. However, speaking to media, the Deputy Minister said that he is unaware of such a decision and that he is currently engaged in politics.

Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s term is set to end on June 30 while President Maithripala Sirisena expected to announce a permanent replacement by then. Civil society groups, trade unions, opposition politicians and SLFP Ministers have pressured the government not to extend the term of Mahendran, who has been accused last year of leaking inside information to his son-in-law’s firm, allegedly allowing it to make millions of dollars in profits from a central bank bond auction.

A ruling party committee cleared him of direct involvement but pointed to unusual activity and called for a more thorough investigation which has yet to be held. Mahendran, a Singapore national of Sri Lankan origin appointed as the Governor following the election victory of President Maithripala Sirisena in January 2015, has consistently maintained his innocence. Mahendran has informed the Monetary Board that he will not seek an extension of his term until the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has cleared his name. Therefore if deputy minister Eran Wickramaratne is appointed as the next Governor of the Central Bank, it would provide UNP Colombo District candidate Rosy Senanayake with an opportunity to enter parliament.

However, speculation is rife that the name Deputy Governor of Central Bank, P. Samarasiri, has also been discussed as a possible candidate for the position of central bank chief.

Source – Ada Derana

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