ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a commission to probe the sale of assets of ETI Finance Ltd, a troubled finance company to a consortium involving foreign investors.
Control of ETI Finance, EAP Broadcasting Company, EAP Films and Theatres Ltd, Hotel Sapphire Ltd, Swarnamahal Jewelers Ltd were sold to Blue Summit Capital Management Private Ltd and Ben Holdings Private Ltd, to raise money to pay depositors, under central bank supervision.
President Rajapaksa in a notice appointing the commission said he had been told that there were allegations of malpractice in the sale of ETI assets, with Central Bank intervention, that the sale violated restrictions on ownership of media by foreign investors and a prohibition on the sale of land by foreign investors.
“I am of the opinion that it is in the national interest to conduct an investigation and inquiry in respect of the matters referred to in the schedule hereto, in order to determine whether any remedial and/or preventive measures should be adopted to ensure that there will be no recurrence of such acts in the future,” the notice said.
The commission headed by retired Supreme Court judge K T Chitrasiri, Daya Chandrasiri Jayathilake, Suhada Gamlath, retired Solicitor General and D M Gunasekera, retired banker.
Another commission had also been appointed to probe allegations of political victimisation by Sri Lanka’s bribery commission and a Financial Crimes Investigation Division. (Colombo/Jan13/2020).