Ex-CB Governor responds to accusations

Approps recent media reports pertaining to the operations undertaken by the Central Bank during the previous administration, former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal has issued the following statement yesterday: "I wish to state that, at the Central Bank, very stringent procedures are followed in an environment of high quality internal controls. All transactions are carried out with due process and authorization. I am therefore confident that the payments for PR services made by the Central Bank during my period as Governor have been effected with proper and required authorization, without violating any standard procedures or government regulations.

In that background, the current frenzy of "trials by media", where sweeping allegations and innuendo are made by various persons which are followed by massive media blitzes before such charges are even informed to the person accused, seems to indicate that what is prevailing is an operation to vilify persons and build up a public hatred towards such persons before they could even state their position.

For the record, I must state that my professional career spans 42 years: 33 years in the private sector, and 9 in the public sector. During all these years, my superiors, peers, colleagues and staff who have worked with me, know about my capacity for hard and diligent work, and the high standards of integrity and professionalism that I follow. Many senior members of the new government too, who were in opposition when I was the Governor, have also experienced, first hand, the standard of impartiality, integrity and good governance that I practiced when in office. In addition, the multi-lateral financial institutions, the large number of international investors who have so far invested over USD 6 billion in Sri Lankan Treasury Bills, Bonds, and International Sovereign Bonds, as well as the global investment banks who have had extensive dealings with the Government and the Central Bank over the past eight years, will also confirm the highest standards of integrity, transparency and good governance that had been followed during my stewardship at the Central Bank.

When I took office as the Governor of the Central Bank in 2006, Sri Lanka’s GDP was only USD 24 billion, with a per capita of just over USD 1,000. But 8 years later, by end 2014, when I relinquished office, it had increased three-fold to a robust USD 75 billion, with a per capita income close to USD 4,000. I could also proudly state that every single macro-economic fundamental of our country had experienced significant improvement during that period, for which outcome too, I could legitimately claim some credit. Unfortunately, because of such unprecedented economic transformation, there have been certain persons who have been politically adversely affected and therefore some of them have been on a hate-driven attack against me, in order to damage my reputation.

However, through such revengeful efforts, I intend to remain patient because, as a general life-principle, I have consciously refrained from accepting false and hateful insults, since I have a deep belief in Lord Buddha’s teaching that when one does not accept an insult, it will automatically revert back to the accuser. "


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