Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who, at one point, was the Finance Minister of his own government, dodged media queries on how he proposed to resolve the issue of depreciation of Sri Lankan currency.
“We will resolve it when we get power. Ask them to give us power and see, “Rajapaksa said, flippantly, when media asked him to explain his mechanism to control or prevent depreciation, during a press conference held in Colombo.
Rajapaksa spoke to reporters as the Sri Lankan currency hit as low as Rs.170 against the US dollar for the first time in history. Currency depreciation is experienced in many parts of the world as the US has taken measures to strengthen the US Dollar through its trade policy.
When the issue of depreciation of Sri Lankan currency was first raised by media, the former President paused for about a minute, before answering.
During this break, the former Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivaad Cabraal, who sat behind Rajapaksa at the press conference, was seen whispering in his ears.
It was clear to the audience that the former Central Bank Governor, now a critique of the current government’s economic policy, was prepping former President Rajapaksa to answer the question.
Upon Cabraal’s consultation, Rajapaksa gave a brief answer to the question, saying the government should make necessary interventions to strengthen the currency and prevent further appreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee.
Rajapaksa said the current state of affairs reflected the government’s inability to handle the country’s economy.
It was at this point that a journalist asked how the former President proposed the government to go about it. (By Tilini Rajapakse)