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* Sri Lanka's main opposition concerned over resignation of third senior SEC official in a year
Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 11:45 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) has expressed concern over the resignation of the third senior official of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in one year.

UNP parliamentarian Eran Wickramaratne said it is disappointing that SEC Director General, Prof. Hareendra Dissabandara had resigned from the post citing his inability to continue in the post based on his principles.

Prof. Dissabandara said on last Friday (22) that he has submitted his resignation from the post of Director-General effective May 27. He has not given any specific reason for his decision.

Issuing a statement, Wickramaratne pointed out that former Chairpersons of the SEC, Indrani Sugathadasa and Thilak Karunaratne had resigned within a period of nine months.

He noted that the resignations were a clear indication that all was not well at the SEC.

"Professionals attempting to carry out their tasks without fear and favor are coming under intense pressure," he said.

Wickramaratne explained that the number of referrals to the SEC has increased from 30 in 2010 to over 45 in the first six months of 2012 and the action warranted had on the other hand seen a decline.

"There were 17 pending cases in 2011, many of which were concluded. COPE was unable to draw a conclusion as to whether these cases were satisfactorily handled," the UNP has noted.

SEC chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa has said that he could not understand the Director-General's decision to resign on May 27 since his term expires anyway by May 31.

Former SEC chairwoman Indrani Sugathadasa resigned from the post in December 2011 due to the pressure from the stock brokers.

Karunaratne resigned from the post of Chairman claiming that he was under tremendous pressure from some investors who are under investigation for malpractices at the Colombo Stock Exchange.

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