Ravi denies knowledge of Penthouse deal
Foreign Minister and former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday vehemently denied any involvement in the leasing or the subsequent purchase of a penthouse at Monarch Residencies in Colombo 03. He said all those matters had been handled by his family.
Karunanayake made the daring denial before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the alleged bond scams in Colombo.
The Foreign Minister, however, on being questioned said that he, his wife and children were still living in the same penthouse.
Senior Additional Solicitor General (SASG) Dappula de Livera, PC led the evidence of Karunanayake.
Karunanayake was extensively questioned on the questionable housing deal and other matters from 10.30 am to about 3.00 pm. Rienzie Arsecularatne, PC and a team of lawyers appeared for Minister Karunayake.
The commission premises were full of lawyers, journalists and members of the public. For the first time, since the commission commenced sittings in January 2017, journalists’ telephones were collected by the security personnel of the commission yesterday. However, many other persons were seen with their telephones within the commission premises. Some of the supporters of the minister were seen wearing T-shirts with ‘Ravi’ written on them on the road. They were shouting slogans in support of the minister.
Minister Karunanayake said he had got to know about Walt and Row Private Ltd., being involved in leasing out the apartment only later and it had been purchased by Global Transport Logistics (GTL) Company he had set up, Karunanayake admitted in answer to queries raised by Justice Prasanna Jayawardena.
The Minister said it was a company belonging to his family and it had purchased the penthouse.
Commission Member Justice Jayawardena told Karunanayake that there were no payment records as regards Monarch apartment in the ledger accounts of GTL or bank accounts.
Karunanayake claimed that though he lived there with his family, he had not seen the lease agreement and was not aware that it had been leased out by Walt and Row from Anika Wijesuriya as all those matters had been attended to by his family.
Asked whether he knew that Arjun Aloysius controlled Walt and Row Company, which had paid the monthly lease rental of Rs 1.45 million, the Minister said his family members had reimbursed the money and he had receipts.
President’s Counsel Livera told the Commission that Karunanayake’s evidence was contrary to the statement Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had made in Parliament on March 17, 2015 and sworn testimonies given to the Commission by Treasury officials.
At the time, the urgent need was for Rs. 15 billion, the PM had said, the SASG de Livera noted. Similarly, the Secretary to the Treasury the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury and the Director General of the Treasury Operations Department had, in their evidence before the Commission, stated that they knew nothing about the letter issued by Karunanayake as Finance Minister stating that Rs. 75 billion was needed urgently.
Minister Karunanayake said the Prime Minister had mentioned the need for Rs. 100 bn in his statement and the matter had been discussed with the Finance Ministry officials and anyone who denied that was not telling the truth.
SASG de Livera said the letter Minister Karunanayake had purportedly written to the then Governor Arjuna Mahendra had been newly created. He said it was crispy. The date when the minister claimed to have issued the letter was also false, the SASG added. Karunanayake said he was telling the truth. Justice Jayawardena said the commission had noted that the letter had been new though the minister claimed to have written it a year back.
Stating that Minister Karunanayake was making statements instead of answering questions SASG de Livera requested the commission to warn him not to do so. Justice Jayawardena warned Karunanayake to answer the questions posed to him.
SASG de Livera submitted to the commission information pertaining to Minister Karunanayake’s and Arjun Aloysius’ travel to Singapore 13 times between September 2015 and April 2017. The periods during which they had been to Singapore were identical and they had once travelled on the same flight, he said, asking whether Karunanayake had met Aloysius in Singapore. Karunanayake said he had met Aloysius on two or three occasions.
While Karunanayake’s evidence was being led, SASG de Livera told Karunanayake that the latter was lying to commission. Karunanayake said he was telling the truth under oath and the SASG was not under oath.
(Source: The Island – By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena)
- Police secures court order to block NPP protest planned for today June 8, 2023
- Danushka Gunathilaka to face rape trial in Australia June 8, 2023
- Digital Promotion Agency to be established for introducing new App to collect data of public sector – President June 8, 2023
- SriLankan CEO believes ‘worst is over’, expects $50 Million profit next year June 7, 2023
- Sri Lanka’s official reserve assets increase by 26.2% in May June 7, 2023
the money trail is very important not as as how the monies were spent but the sourse of income. RK claimed that he knew nothing of the transactions executed by his wife and daughter. So they need to explain as to how they came to those millions and the earnings declared. They can make surreptitious claims like from gambling on stocks. horses and dogs or stocks and then bonds. There could be more sinister operations.
So the wife and daughter should be questioned for RK has implicated them. What is important is connect alloysius to RK financially
Further prosecution need to the thosand pages and map the chronology leading to whatever the prosecution is trying to prove. This is serious work for the prosecution need to identify others in Allysius network nationally and internationally.
This takes time and experts on biochemistry involved in brewing, and experts involved in bigtime moneylaundering. Failure to do will make the prosecution a laughing stock nationally and internationallt
This is just a drama caused by over-enthusiastic public servants attached to the Solicitor General’s office. It appears this high profile investigation is being used by the officers to climb the ladder. The higher you are in the ladder, the bigger the car permit will be.
This Commission’s report will meet with a natural death.
Long live Hon Ravi.
ravis claim lacks credibility considering that he regardles as to whther he lived with his wife and daughter or ont.
i trust my wife for the simple reason that there is very little for her to rob off me …but then this is relative. It is and for ravi to have stashed away 150 million rupees in a safe is strange for their are banks and most banks are secure. Is ravi evading tak!
unless ravi was and is laundering money most likely. Why the tax department should exa mine his returns find out this is reflected in his return
On this is ssue he should be sacked from the parlaiment
Hon Ravi Karunanayake, MP, Yahapalana Minister for Foreign Affairs and Lotteries, is a politician above board.
RK is a genius; he assisted the nation in turning the economy around form the debt-ridden legacy of the R Family; Ravi was recognised by the world as being the best Finance Minister.
Unfortunately, the blind big boss ad his blue supporters failed to recognise the value added by former Finance Minister, RK.
Now they are hounding him on false accusations.
The blind big boss ad his blue supporters are an obstacle to the growth of our beloved nation. The quicker they confined to the rubbish bin, the better off we would be.