Ravi-Arjun nexus Opening a can of worms
By a Special Correspondent
Former Finance Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister to resign (under duress, of course) and become a simple Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake has now gone on to create, what he claims to be a "new proud political culture". However, Karunanayake's destiny would have taken a complete turn even before he became a Cabinet Minister, if he was charged properly and heard in a Court of Law.
Then of course, his fate would not have been the adoration of the mindless sheep, but the steel bars of Welikada Prison.
In 2006 and 2007, Raj Rajaratnam and his controversial Galleon Group were accused of hedge funds worth of USD three million invested in a local private bank, without prior authorization from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) was revealed. For advocating this act, the then Attorney General's Department filed a Foreign Exchange Fraud case against Lincoln Piyasena, Nexia Coporate Consultants and of course, Ravi Karunanayake. However, due to several obvious technical obstacles the Court case never saw the light of day, resulting in the release of all suspects. But one thing was made clear by the Judge presiding the order- Colombo High Court Judge W. Airangani Perera – who highlighted that the nature of the crime remains unchanged. The proper response in this matter would have been to submit a revised Injunction Order. That never happened.
These are the events that led Ravi Karunanayake to easily become the Finance Minister of the Yahapalana Government in 2015. This is where he met Arjun Aloysius. From there on, he has now gone on to commit another scandal that has resulted in the current political predicament in the country.
Kattar Aloysius is one of the financial pioneers of the United National Party. Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Kattar Aloysius started his career selling dried fish. There is a website dedicated to the extended Kattar family which hails from South India. It shows that Kattar Aloysius, whom they call the patriarch, was much loved and respected. The senior Aloysius was close to Ranasinghe Premadasa. He is also the grandfather of Arjun Aloysius.
Arjun Aloysius and his Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. became a primary dealer in Treasury Bond auctions of the CBSL during the Mahinda Rajapaksa tenure. This is through the close relationship between Arjun Aloysius and the then CBSL Governor Ajith Nivaad Cabral.
This relationship as well is surrounded by mystery and vile conspiracies and financial scams that have never been investigated.
Following the registration of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. as a Primary Dealer of the CBSL with the assistance of the Central Bank Governor, his sister Siromi Cabraal is conveniently appointed as a director of the PTL for a seven digit salary.
The roots of the Ravi-Arjun relationship do not run deep. Certainly not through generations as the former Finance Minister testified before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry earlier this month. The two supposedly met during the presidential election of 2014 and 2015 when the United National Party (UNP) was faced with the risk of losing the election despite the powers of the Common Candidate, Maithirpala Sirisena. Even though by this time, the Aloysius family's main alliance was with the Rajapaksa Government, Arjun Aloysius immediately supported the UNP campaign by providing Rs. 200 million to Ravi Karunanayake to 'purchase' a strategically important defector of the opposing side. To play it safe, he was thoughtful enough to provide Rs 150 million to the Rajapaksa campaign as well.
We do not proceed to assume that it was Arjun Aloysius's money that achieved victory to the Yahapalana campaign of the UNP and the Common Candidate, but it would be obvious to note that it certainly did have a strategic importance.
Thus, the Yahapalana Government takes the country's seat of power, Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena is sworn in as the President, Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister and Ravi Karunanayake as the Finance Minister. The Central Bank Governor of the Yahapalana Government is the ever controversial Arjun Mahendran; the father-in-law of Arjun Aloysius. Thus, Arjun Aloysius's foot in the Government's door has worked and now he is in with the big fish.
The friendship between Ravi Karunanayake and Arjun Aloysius, as revealed at the Presidential Commission, had gone to the extent where the two had flown overseas together on 13 separate occasions. There were occasions where Aloysius had represented Karunanayake as a proxy for investor meetings on many occasions and played an integral part in diplomatic missions overseas. And of course, Aloysius seems to have reciprocated to Karunanayake's kindness as well.
Aloysius at 28, was CEO of Perpetual Asset Management and Deputy Chairman of W. M. Mendis and Company as well as a Board Member of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC). Aloysius had entered both Mendis and HDFC Boards by virtue of Perpetual Capital acquiring large stakes in each. Mendis and Company in 2015 introduced three new brands to its already vast collection in a grand ceremony at the Galle Face Hotel. And lo and behold it was the Finance Minister of the country that had been invited as the chief guest of the event. Additionally, it was the Aloysius's rice-based alcohol factory in Batticaloa, which received the current administration's fastest approval after coming to power.
However, even before the approval for the alcohol factory was granted by the Cabinet of Ministers, Aloysiu's spirit business was thriving without any proper authorization. The company had manufactured alcohol in Beruwala, while it was bottled at a plant in Welisara. The toddy that was sourced for the manufacture of this low quality alcohol which had severe medical consequences on its consumers was provided from Nattandiya, Marawila and Chilaw. In a general sense, there are severe and strict legal procedures that are followed when transporting alcohol around the country. However, these procedures have never been a problem for Aloysius's bowsers which transported moonshine under the guise of toddy.
The sales were carried out under special provisions as well. Under Excise taxation laws, the taxes have to be paid every 15 days without any delay or exception. Unsurprisingly, Aloysius's company has evaded Rs 380 million in excise taxes since 15 July. As the Voice against Corruption pointed out that tax evasion exceeds Rs 600 million by the end of that month.
An individual so undisciplined that he cannot even run his own company as per the laws of the country has broken into the country's own Central Bank. Question remains however, as to who cleared Arjun Aloysius, this 33-year-old businessman, a Rs 10 billion lease from the Bank of Ceylon without any appeal letter, any witnesses, any collateral or any other documents.
- Quo Vadis, China?
- Why Americans are no longer dynamic
- Pardon and release the 158 Tamil remand prisoners
- Workshops to develop tourism in the East
- SWOAD promotes rights of migrant workers
- PAFFREL seeks Gazetting of Elections Amendment Bill
- CMB Port City: Work will be completed by 2019– Sagala Ratnayaka
- AKD’s RTI request from TRC pending a reply
- Alliance Française gets new library & information corner
- Give more women & youth a chance – March 12 Movt
- SL and Pakistan to consolidate bilateral relations
- Missing girls surrender to Police Three charged with abduction
- Amaraweera claims life in danger
- For energy security SL to enter into agreement with Qatar
- Sex spray puts 3 girls in hospital
- JVP to sue Johnnie for Rs 500 M
- Hosting SAARC Summit Pakistan assured of SL’s support
- International Conventions and Debasement of Legislative Process Part II
- Developing education sector Will take tough decisions – Akila Viraj
- Guangzhou looking for investment opportunities – Tu Hongze
- Three women go missing in Orugodawatte
- Awareness on violence against women Mahela and Kumar address students
- Foreign Secretary’s visit to Sri Lanka Pakistan commits to stronger ties
- Sashi to take Ranjan to Court
- allegedly defrauded more than Rs 100mn Employment fraudster remanded
- Kusal Perera ruled out from Pakistan T20Is
- De Villiers hits thrilling century
- Sri Lanka ‘A’ tour of West Indies 2nd Four day match starts today
- Sluggish Sri Lanka move slowly
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Schools Cricket St. John’s Jaffna create major upset
- SL women’s tour of WIndies T20 matches start today
- Sri Lanka approaching Pakistan visit cautiously
- Wattala Antonian Sixes 2017 this weekend
- Golf ‘really healthy’ even without Tiger, says Rose
- Lanka Lions Tag Rugby Sevens Trinity wins cup for fifth time in UAE
- TTSC Softball Cricket ‘Sixes’ 2017 51 Men’s, 7 Women’s teams battle for honours
- Kuldeep cements place in Indian attack
- SL out to save series Batsmen aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities - Managers and Coach Kapugedera likely to play today
- Gunathilaka’s ban revised - SLC Ex-Co
- Sadeera to be included in ODI team
- 130 SRI LANKA AMATEUR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 at NUWARA ELIYA Chalitha Pushpika topples indian top seed Sri Lanka 3 out of 4 in SEMI-FINAL
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Schools Cricket Kamindu Mendis scores third ton
- Royal regain E.F.C. Pereira Challenge Trophy
- DSI Supersport Schools Volleyball Championship 2017 Finals just around the corner
- All Blacks coach backs Sonny Bill Williams
- SL remains too protectionist
- Govt. aims $1.6B FDI next year, $2B in 2019
- 70% growth from consumption and investment
- ADB debuts risk sharing to support trade in developing Asia
- SL GDP to grow 7% from 2020 - Mangala
- Retail sector asks for Govt support to boost retail tourism
- Dr. coom in for good times!
- ‘Excon 2017’ Road Show to highlight SL construction sector
- Sri Lanka impresses investors in New York
- West Coast beach front soaring in value
- Asia markets tread water Investors scrutinize China’s Party Congress
- SL among Asia’s fastest adopters of cloud computing
- Hosted by Sri Lanka-China Business Cooperation Council
- Toyota Lanka contributes Hybrid Learning Centre to AETI
- Value of social networking yet to be determined
- Sri Lanka to inaugurate performance art center for tourists
- Guangzhou Govt representatives positive about investing
- Lanka Hospitals & Sri Lanka Heart Association to mark World Heart Day
- BBDO Lanka strikes gold at Effies
- Sampath Bank celebrates ‘Thrift Month’ with eco-friendly gifts
- Implications of Provincial Police Departments
- Cairo: Most dangerous megacity for women
- Proxy Waiting
- Shortage of Science Graduates
- Rice Revolution Simply a Catalyst or more…?
- Fall of Raqqa
- UN urges B’desh to move Rohingya refugees
- Flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in the history of the world
- Sucking it up
- Ahikuntika community of Sri Lanka Diminishing cultural traits
- Even the PM should be in Prison for the frauds
- Would like more Pradeshiya Sabhas for N’Eliya-Radhakrishnan
- Skills mismatch a massive economic cost Education system must be reformed
- Federalism is the antithesis of separatism Wiggy
- Kiriella has no right to ask me not to speak-Handunnetti
- UNHRC Resolution 30/1 Implications for Sri Lanka (Part II) (Based on a presentation to the OPA)
- Electoral Reforms are for People’s Benefit
- Managing perception with international community
- Salient points of horoscope Assessment
- KARMIC CONNECTIONS IN THE BIRTH CHARTS 2
- Dream of travelling abroad?
- Mystery behind Osama bin Laden explained
- Three poses to relieve trauma
- Socio-economic developments from critical perspective
- KAZUO ISHIGURO – THE NEW NOBEL LAUREATE
- The Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018 –Internationally acclaimed authors to take part
- Portrayal of country and nature
- Resonant Field Imaging - a Marvel in Technology
- Shankar’s International Children’s Competition 2018
- Hindustani Violin recital
- Classical rendering of a masterly-crafted musical
- Kite Surfing Lanka Kalpitiya An experience of a lifetime
- Ella and mini Adam’s Peak
- A cave of history -Ravana Cave
- Making plus-sized clothing trendy
- Pyjamas go viral as well - Sharmila Srikumar
- Giving back to Society
- Double treat at Pinnawala
- Mental illness a health issue Replacing stigma with compassion
- Studying to be ahead