CB Governor Controversy: Where Does It Stand Now? (This Is What You Should Know)

1) The President has appointed a committee comprising members of both main parties (UNP and SLFP) to arrive at an understanding with regard to the re-appointment of the incumbent Central Bank Governor.

 

2) Ministers Kabir Hashim, Ravi Karunanayake, Malik Samarawickrema, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Sagala Ratnayaka represent the UNP in the committee. The SLFP side is represented by Ministers Sarath Amunugama, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Mahinda Amaraweera. In addition, some Cabinet ministers who contested on the UNP ticket - namely Rajitha Senaratne and Patali Champika Ranawaka - are vociferously campaigning against the incumbent CB Governor's re-appointment.

 

3) The SLFP is still strongly pushing for Arjuna Mahendran's removal. The UNP seems relenting. But, the Prime Minister, a personal friend of Mahendran, is still looking for various strategies to retain him. 

 

4) One of his 'options' is to  re-structure the Central Bank, transferring the Public Debt Division from the Central Bank to the Treasury. Allegations against Mahendran over bond issues emanate from this Division. Another proposal discussed was to establish a separate Divisional Management Board for the management of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) under the Central Bank.

 

5) These proposals have not elicited a positive response from political circles within the government, saying such a move would reflect badly on the government and its 'yahapaalanaya' policies.

 

6) Interestingly, some close allies of the Prime Minister, including Dinesh Weerakkody (son-in-law of Cabinet Minister John Amaratunga), are already eying on the plum job! 

7) All in all, the situation seems unfavourable for Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, at least at this juncture. 

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