Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said in the Parliament that steps are being taken to bring back Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Arjuna Mahendran to Sri Lanka according to the Extradition Law.
Wickremesinghe made this remark while answering a question by Chief Opposition Whip and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Dissanayake queried as to what steps had been taken from the Government’s side to produce Mahendran to the relevant local Court thus far.
Responding to this, Wickremesinghe noted that the Laws of Singapore do not allow its citizens to be arrested based on Interpol’s Red Warrants.
“The Singapore Government informed us that it cannot arrest a suspect upon an Interpol Red Notice as per the laws of Singapore. They requested us to make a formal request to extradite Mahendran. Therefore, we have taken steps according to that request.”
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has made a request to the Defence Secretary to take measures to bring Mahendran to Sri Lanka according to the Extradition Law on 25 May, the Premier said.
The JVP Leader then said that as the Prime Minister, Wickremesinghe could make a personal effort to bring back Mahendran since the latter is a friend of Wickremesinghe.
“I am not dragging any personal incidents into this but you have had close contacts with Mahendran. That was why you once said that you were aware of Mahendran going abroad to attend a wedding ceremony. He is your friend. So why can’t you make a personal effort to bring him back to the country? As the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka you have a responsibility to do that,” Dissanayake stressed.
Wickeremsinghe replied, “Mahendran kept me informed about his foreign visits when he was working under me as the CBSL Governor. All the other officials who come under me do the same. They have an obligation to do that. However, that obligation is no more when they no longer hold a position. I did not have contacts with Mahendran even when I went before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to give evidence. Mahendran had a habit of changing houses from time to time. That is a general practice of Singaporeans as well. He left the country without informing me and I have no clue on his whereabouts now.”
Dissanayake also queried on the cases regarding fugitive ex-diplomats Udayanga Weeratunga and Jaliya Wickramasuriya.
He said, “A formal request has been made to issue an Interpol Red Notice against Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States of America Wickramasuriya and that request is now being processed. Also, another formal request has been submitted on 17 May to extradite Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Weeratunga, who is now being detained in the United Arab Emirates.”