Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Quits Amid Bond Scam Probe

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COLOMBO, Aug 10 – Sri Lanka’s foreign minister resigned Thursday after being linked to a controversial financial trader under investigation for allegedly causing millions of dollars of losses to the island’s coffers. Ravi Karunanayake, 54, stepped down from cabinet amid questioning over his connection to an insider trading scandal at Sri Lanka’s central bank after the new government was elected in January 2015.

“I am not guilty of any of the allegations, but I am resigning my portfolio to ensure that opponents are not able to destabilise our unity government,” Karunanayake said. Karunanayake has testified before an investigation ordered by President Maithripala Sirisena into then-central bank governor Arjuna Mahendran, who was sacked last April.

Mahendran was accused of misconduct surrounding alleged favours for his son-in-law, a bond dealer. At the inquiry proceedings last week, Karunanayake admitted his family had dealings with the controversial bond dealer. Karunanayake, who was finance minister when the scandal broke, was given the foreign ministry in a cabinet reshuffle in May. — AFP

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