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Fireworks erupted at the board meetings of Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel on Friday with Telecom Chairman P.G.  kumarasinghe vehemently opposing moves to suspend Mobitel CEO Ranjith Rubasinghe pending an inquiry. The SLT Board meeting was held first at 4 pm. Soon disagreements broke out.

The situation escalated so much that Harin Fernando, the Telecom Minister, was called around 9.30 pm to defuse the tensions. He did so and helped the parties agree on certain decisions. This included suspending Mr. Rubasinghe for three months pending inquiries into allegations, including using Mobitel money and resources for the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election campaign. It was also stated that Mr. Rubasinghe had allegations against him at the Financial Crimes Investigation Division of the police. The Mobitel board meeting started after Minister Fernando left late on Friday night.

Arguments broke out again with
Mr. Kumarasinghe refusing to allow the changes the board wished to introduce. Authoritative sources said there was much shouting and screaming in the room. They said Mr. Kumarasinghe was particularly adamant that Mr. Rubasinghe should stay on.
Amidst the ruckus, businessman W.K.H. Wegapitiya resigned from the board, also amidst much protest from
Mr. Kumarasinghe. The board also asked Mr. Kumarasinghe to suspend Mr. Rubasinghe immediately but he said he would issue the relevant letter on Monday.

There were six board members at the Mobitel meeting and nine at the SLT meeting.


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