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Professor Gunapala Nanayakkara on the Run CID Questioning and Arrest Imminent

Professor Gunapala Nanayakkara on the Run CID Questioning and Arrest Imminent

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Published by Thavam

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Published by: Thavam on Aug 21, 2013
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10/27/2013

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(Lanka-e-News-19.Aug.2013,11.30PM) The latest reports from Sri Lanka’s professional and academiccommunity on the continuing saga of Professor Gunapala Nanayakkara is that theCriminal Investigation Department (CID) is closing in on him. They are about toquestion him before framing charges against him for criminal misappropriation of monies totaling over Rs. 50 million in connection with the government owned PIM’s(Postgraduate Institute of Management) International Centre which he operated inDubai in the UAE for a period of nearly three years from 2007 to 2009. An independent fact finding inquiry completed by the reputed Audit firm Ernst and Young has found that while functioning as the Managing Director and Chief Operations Officer of PIM’s International Centre at Dubai, Professor Nanayakkara hadover a period of several years from 2007 to 2009 misappropriated and embezzled overRs. 50 million in Sri Lankan rupees when converted from Dirhams of UAE money. Hehad systematically done this by diverting payments made by Sri Lankan applicants forthe MBA courses which he offered at the Dubai Centre. Each student was chargedabout 300,000 Dirhams the equivalent of About Rs. 900,000 per student.From the Ernst & Young Inquiry Report it appears that Professor Nanayakkara had withdrawn the equivalent of nearly Rs. 20 million by using his ATM card when
 
Government Regulations strictly forbid ATN withdrawal of public funds. The balanceof about Rs, 30 million had been misappropriated by him by withdrawing the funds,from time to time, from the bank accounts of the Centre and diverting such funds toaccounts in Dubai which he had opened in his personal name. Thereafter, such monieshad been transferred by him to personal accounts of his in Canada. The Canadianconnection arose because since the late 1990’s, Professor Nanayakkara had also been working as an academic in Canada. He had earlier invested in a house and his family – wife, two adult sons and his daughter live in Canada.The funds that Professor Nanayakkara had wrongfully taken and siphoned off toCanadian bank accounts have apparently been used by him to purchase anotherresidence as an investment in Canada. This is revealed in the CID inquiry now underway.The Ernst & Young Inquiry report also reveals that Professor Nanayakkara had forgedpayment receipts for substantial sums of money showing that well-known namedindividuals had received money for services rendered at the Dubai InternationalCenter such as the delivery of lectures to students. Many of these individuals havegiven evidence and given sworn affidavits that the signature on the Receipts are nottheirs. In other words their signatures have been forged and the relevant documentsshow by the handwriting that the forgery has been done by Professor Nanayakkara.These documents and evidence and is also before the CID.The pending CID inquiry on Professor Nanayakkara has been authorized by the Attorney General’s Department because PIM’s International Centre at Dubai wasoperated as a State institution of the government of Sri Lanka. Also, this large fraud atthe Dubai Centre was highlighted by the Parliamentary Committee on PublicEnterprises (COPE) and the Chairman of COPE – Senior Minister Mr. Dew Gunasekera has strongly advised the University Grants Commission and the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (under whom Professor Nanayakkara functioned) to give allmaterials and documents and assistance to the CID in the conduct of its investigations,COPE had also advised that this fraud be reported to the Bribery Commission not as amatter of bribery but as a matter of corruption in a public sector institution. The COPEhad also noted that during his tenure as the Managing Director of PIM’s DubaiInternational Centre Professor Nanayakkara had not filled up and submitted hisDeclaration of Assets and Liabilities though obliged to do so.Coming on the heels of the CID Inquiry into Professor Nanayakkara formisappropriation of money, there is also a court case which has now found itself in theProvincial High Court of Appeal of Colombo, The court case arose in the following way.
 
Because of the Inquiry by the Audit firm, Ernst & Young which found that ProfessorNanayakkara had misappropriated public funds, the University of SriJayewardenapura had interdicted him from the post of Professor of Management .Professor Nanayakkara had then challenged the interdiction by filling a case in theDistrict Court of Colombo. This litigation is numbered as District Court of Colombocase No DSP/248/2011. In that case Professor Nanayakkara also asked the DistrictJudge to issue an Enjoining Order also called an Injunction to restrain the University of Sri Jayewardenepura from implementing his interdiction from his post of professor.The enjoining order was issued as an interim measure but after hearing the argumentsplaced before the Court by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and thePostgraduate Institute of Management, the learned District Judge had set aside theenjoining order and refused such relief as requested by Professor Nanayakkara.Professor Nanayakkkara has now lodged an appeal from the District Judge’s order tothe Provincial High Court of Appeal of Colombo and although the appeal had beenlisted for hearing it had been put off for no fault of the Appellate Court. Lawyers for theUniversity say that there is no merit whatsoever in the appeal and in all probability the Appeal Court will dismiss it. Also by now, Professor Nanayakkara had reached thecompulsory age of retirement (65 years) and has now retired from the University service. Hence his request not to be placed under interdiction is only a matter of academic interest and not of any money value. It is also alleged that ProfessorNanayakkara had filed the District Court action to avoid the shame of an interdiction by the University Council – because his academic record will show that he ended hiscareer with an interdiction for a financial fraud !. What is also talked about is that before he retired on reaching the compulsory age of retirement of 65 years, Professor Nanayakkara started a private Graduate School of Management (GSM) at the World Trade Centre building in Fort. This was in directcompetition with the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) which he claims hefounded. It did not really matter to the PIM because very few students applied to theGSM but the criticism is that Professor Nanayakkara commenced his own privateGraduate School while drawing a monthly Professional; salary from PIM !However, it appears that the World Trade Centre building had to be vacated becauseProfessor Nanayakkara was unable to pay the high rent and he has now shifted hisManagement School to an address in Park Road, Colombo 5. He is also conducting afew Workshops from that venue.The Gunapala Nanayakkara saga has not yet ended. The final outcome depends onresults of the CID inquiry. There are a few from among his former students who feelthat life has now become very hard for him and that he should be left alone and

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