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Under fire Lankan Central Bank chief to stay away from job

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Sri Lanka's Central Bank Governor, under fire over alleged involvement in bond dealings favouring a firm linked to his son-in law, will stay away from the job until the parliament's scrutiny committee clears his name, the government said today.

Arjuna Mahendran, whose term was to end on June 30, will stay away from his job until Parliament's Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE)investigate him in the issuance of Treasury Bonds issue, the Information Department said in a statement.

Mahendran was handpicked by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to be the bank chief when President Maithripala Sirisena won the presidential defeating in January 2015.

Soon after his appointment, Mahendran, a Tamil and a Singaporean national, found himself mired in controversy when a primary dealer company connected to his son in was accused of profiting from inside information in a Central Bank bond issue in February 2015.

Another scandalous deal involving the firm was reported in March this year.

Since then, Mahendran was under constant public pressure with opponents demanding his removal.

Wickremesinghe was also accused of protecting him.

Sirisena in a public speech a year ago had expressed unhappiness over Mahendran's conduct.

First Published: Fri, June 24 2016. 12:42 IST