The departure of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Thilak Karunaratne who sent in his resignation on Friday, will be a severe blow to independent minority shareholders and Sri Lanka’s image, a stock market rights activist said.”It will be a severe blow to our country’s image, if persons of very high calibre resign from the chair [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Thilak’s departure- severe blow to independent investors

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The departure of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Thilak Karunaratne who sent in his resignation on Friday, will be a severe blow to independent minority shareholders and Sri Lanka’s image, a stock market rights activist said.”It will be a severe blow to our country’s image, if persons of very high calibre resign from the chair of SEC – Mr. Thilak Karunaratne now, and only eight months after Ms. Indrani Sugathadasa (resigned).

There has been an unmistakable chorus of good advice, from the COPE to all good editors, journalist, and all eminent persons of goodwill (on these concerns),” noted K.C. Vignarajah in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.He urged the President to retain “the honest chairman of SEC’ and the acting Director-General Prof. Dr Dissa Bandara (who has also come under pressure) while rejecting the advice of ‘High Net-worth Crooks (HNWC) and wrong doers’.

Mr Vignarajah, who has been campaigning for good governance and the rights of independent minority shareholders (IMS), drew the President’s attention to a previous meeting chaired by the latter on the stock market crisis.”At that meeting I heard (not saw) some desperate wrongdoer interjecting that I was ‘anti-Government and anti-Lanka’. I was amused at this desperado’s attempt to divert your keen attention away from my speech. His absolute falsity was countered thus: By training and culture, I have always been non-political, and truthful in all my public interest, good governance and investors’ interest activities.

To contribute, for the betterment of humanity, the country and the average decent citizens, have always been foremost in my upbringing. I have always been extremely proud of my parents, the extended family, teachers at college and lifelong friends; none of them touched anyone else’s money or property,” he said.

Mr Vignarajah, a former chairman of a top industry chamber, explained his role as Chairman, Pramuka Bank Restructuring Committee where he met President Rajapaksa on a few occasions, to obtain relief, which bore fruit for the poor depositors. “I was neither a depositor nor a shareholder, but acted in the public interest. I did not charge any fees nor claim any expenses. I worked tirelessly with the poor depositors, paying respects to all religious, political and social dignitaries in the process. UPFA, UNP, TNA, JHU, JVP figures were all there. I have never sought any personal favours,” he said.

He said Mr Karunaratne, who is said to be doing an honourable job, is a remarkable person and truly patriotic. “My admiration for those who do their duty by the people is tremendous. If he is moved out, or resigns, it will be a great tragedy for our country and the investing public,” the letter said.




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