A fax message has been received from the Presidential Secretariat asking Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC), Gamini Wickremesinghe to resign from the post. It is learnt that an angry President has ordered the fax message after the BoC Chairman had continuously avoided him.
When the President had telephoned the BoC Chairman, he has not answered the call and his secretary had said the chairman was not in his office although eh was there. She has made the statement on a request made by the Chairman. However, the President had found out that the Chairman was in his office. It was then that the directive asking for his immediate resignation was sent.
The President it is learnt has been displeased with the BoC Chairman for some time since he had failed to carry out several directives issued by the President and has also ignored responding to queries. Sources from BoC said that the Chairman had not carried out some of the directives issued by the President after receiving legal advice that such actions were illegal.
Gamini Wickremasinghe was appointed as the BoC Chairman on a recommendation made by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. He is a successful businessman and is also the head of the Infomatics Company. It was Wickremasinghe who had given Gotabhaya a job at Infomatics when he was looking for employment after resigning from the Gajaba regiment as a Lieutenant Colonel.
In order to reciprocate the favor, Wickremasinghe was appointed as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission after the Rajapaksas assumed office. He was later appointed as the Chairman of BoC.
The President has told officials at the Presidential Secretariat that the BoC has fallen under Wickremasinghe’s Chairmanship while the People’s Bank has developed under his friend, Karunajeewa.
The Defence Secretary is trying to resolve the issue between the President and Wickremasinghe in order to ensure that the latter continues to hold the office of BoC Chairman.