21 November, 2018

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Sirisena Appoints Indrajit Coomaraswamy As Central Bank Governor

President Maithripala Sirisena today appointed Economist Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Governor of Central Bank.

Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy

Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy

Dr. Coomaraswamy was the former Director Economic Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Sirisena tweeted that he had made the appointment after consulting ‘all parties concerned.’

A product of Royal College, Colombo and Harrow School in England, he gained his undergraduate degree at Cambridge University and obtained his Doctorate at the University of Sussex.

Coomaraswamy joined Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 1973 he served in the Economic Research, Statistics and Bank Supervision Divisions as a staff officer until 1989. From 1981 to 1989 he was seconded to the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

Thereafter he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1990–2008, holding the posts of Director, Economic Affairs Division and Deputy-Director, Secretary-General’s Office and was brought back to the Commonwealth Secretariat to head the Social Transformation Programme Division, as Interim Director.

He is currently a Special Advisor at the Galleon Group.

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  • 3
    1

    Indrajit, although hailing from a famous Colombo Tamil family, educated at Cambridge, mingling in high society is a simple unassuming man of integrity and character.After joining the Central Bank[CB] in early 1970s, Indrajit took to his fascination in sports and played cricket for CB.This account that I am going to relate refers to his unassuming character and simplicity. One day in the midst of a practice session I happened to listen to Indrajit an experience in cricket while playing for Cambridge.He was batting and the bowler at the other end was that famous Truman. In Indrajit’s own words, he saw the first ball from Truman whistling past him. The second ball vanished on the leg side in a similar fashion. His bat could not find contact with the third also. Truman in his own inimitable style had started walking past the umpire to deliver the next ball. However, suddenly he had walked back to the bowling crease and shouted at Indrajit, ” You, hold your bat straight, I will hit the bat” and walked back to to his start up. Folks, would you have done the Indrajit way if it was you.

  • 8
    1

    When Sri Lanka was CEYLON there were not much racial discrimination and our country had some of the best in the governments irrespective of race or religion.

    One such person was the former Chairman of Bank of Ceylon Mr. C.Loganathan.

    He was the chairman of Bank of Ceylon for a very long time until he went to work for world Bank. He built the bank to success and ran it so well.

    We also had two wonderful heads of government Corporations, namely Mr.L.J.D.Fernando,the long served chairman of Ceylon Mineral sands corporation and Mr.K.C.Thangarajah, another great chairman who helped Eastern Paper Mills corporation achieve success and had that portfolio of chairmanship for a long time, until politics came into play.

    Discrimination of all kinds and dirty politics ruined our wonderful nation !

    What a sad story ?!!

  • 0
    9

    I take it this was not our Beloved Leader’s first choice:

    So second choice it is.

    My first choice would have been Cabraal:

    “- Prior to entering the political scene, Cabraal was a successful consultant specialising in turnarounds and corporate governance and has served on many boards including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sri Lanka’s securities regulator.

    – Although he has a very specific set of duties as central bank governor, he has been one of Sri Lanka’s foremost advocates in the international financial arena.

    As the war came to a close and peace was in the offing, the governor took Sri Lanka and its post-war opportunities on road shows to world financial centres to attract investment.

    – He was already a familiar face in the banking capitals, having steered Sri Lanka into international capital markets for the first time with a successful sovereign bond issue in 2007. The next two issues were met with big investor demand.

    – Cabraal was also instrumental in securing a $2.6 billion International Monetary Fund loan that helped Sri Lanka deal with the fallout of the global financial crisis in 2008 and its impact on foreign exchange reserves.

    – He can count among his accomplishments as governor the reduction of annual inflation from a record high of 28 percent in June 2008 to a record low of 0.7 percent in September 2009; bringing forex reserves up to a record $7 billion and the steering of interest rates from as high as 20 percent back to mid-single digits.

    – He is presently overseeing the expansion of banking and microfinance in the former war zone to help it re-integrate with the national economy and in service of that has travelled to the north more than any governor in the bank’s history”

    (Reuters profile)

    • 4
      1

      But the poor chap Cubby doesn’t even know how to calculate the present value of a bond: http://www.dailymirror.lk/78805/central-bank-s-30-year-bond-debacle-what-is-the-loss

      You’ve also left out the 800Mn USD loss on the idiotic commonwealth games bid (what business does a central bank governor have in getting involved in such a thing) the loss on greek bonds, the massive losses faced on EPF investments, and his political backbending. Everything else you’ve said is just marketing spiel that can be carried out far better by someone as eloquent as Dr IC, who will in addition know what he’s talking about and not just divert the more technical questions to his deputies as Cubby always did. The man was an accountant, and accounts are better at cooking the books than understanding the dynamics of global economics. The rot set in during CBK’s time when she decided to be ‘hip’ and appointed a businessman to the role. It was all downhill from there.

      I understand from non-politicized sources within the bank that Arjuna Mahendran, for all the criticism he has received (not that 99% of the critics can even explain what purportedly went wrong) did a lot of good things there as well, such as move from 100% private placements to 100% auctions (like any well run central bank in the world), reinstate the legal and compliance department (probably the only central bank in the world that had scrapped its own legal department), and ensure that the dead duck training team was empowered to develop the talent within. Nandalal is technically OK but not very good at communicating, and does not have any presence. He is not the man we need at this point, but is OK doing what he’s doing provided he doesn’t scuttle IC as he did AM. IC is the man to lead the institution and perhaps he it is good that he is coming in at this time as he will not be seen as ‘Ranil’s Man’ and may actually be left alone to do a job of work.

      His speech to all staff today was good as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riEqOx8oc0U

      • 7
        1

        Dear Crony Capitalist,

        Methinks there is much common sense in what you say.

        “Vanguard” has reproduced a panegyric attributed as “Reuters profile”. Who on earth wrote it? Not only is it too good to be true, but also, it does not accord with what we saw of Cabraal.

        Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe must be a different kettle of fish. I knew nothing of him a week ago, but I hope that this catches his eye. Hours before Indrajith’s announcement, I made a common sense comment saying that Dr Weerasinghe ought to be appointed. It is here now, appearing two days after posting:

        http://www.ft.lk/article/552376/Impasse-over-Governor-appointment-continues%C2%A0

        Comments that I have seen indicate that Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe would make an excellent Deputy but lacks the charisma and “presence” for the top job. I hope that he re-reads the Peter Principle:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle

        and I’m very glad to note that the photograph that appears here seems to indicate that both Indrajith and the President realise how important it is that the contribution that Dr Weerasinghe must make is recognised. Also, there is a YouTube of the speech Indrajith made to the Central Bank staff (why is the volume so low on it?). Typical of the man is the fact that he wants his own shortcomings pointed out. This surely heralds the return of decency and honesty to public life; the President and Indrajith don’t seem hitherto to have known each other. Let me hope a strong friendship blossoms between these two great men, so that there will be no more “Daham-at-the-UN” moments!

        http://www.ft.lk/article/552898/New-CB-Governor-pledges-to-lead-by-example

        There is also this very credible account of what went on behind the scenes. However, I see nothing tragic in it except for the Prime Minister. I have never met him, but this stubborn insistence of his that his Royal College buddy be appointed accords with what I have learnt of the man from the time he was a very young Minister of Education.

        http://www.ft.lk/article/552691/Tragic-tug-o-war-between-the-President-and-PM-to-get-a-Governor-appointed

        The media, especially in Sinhalese, has been trumpeting the fact that Indrajith was also at Royal, a little junior to Ranil W. As the above article implies that meant little, because Indrajith’s formative years were spent at “Harrow School”. To a Sinhalese reader that means little (I’m not try to demean his understanding, it’s just a fact that even to the average Englishman Harrow is a continent apart from his experience).

        Almost immediately I heard of the appointment of Indrajith I said this: Sinhala_Man July 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sirisena-appoints-indrajit-coomaraswamy-as-central-bank-governor/comment-page-1/#comments

        Now, the fact is that Indrajith may not even be able to place me, but his wife would; as a wag pointed out, I was only a villager writing about Indrajith’s “Sinhalese father-in-law”. I thought that I should say what I knew, because I realised that many perfectly decent Sri Lankans have acquired a communal mind set, without even being aware of it.

        It may be that this comment of mine is only a collation of links, but I sincerely think that every single link will bring home to the reader an aspect of this significant episode in the evolving of our “Yahapalana Government” – the result of the historically important “Rainbow Revolution” that we ushered in 18 months ago.

  • 4
    1

    One of those who welcomed the appointment of Indrajith Coomarasamy as CB Governer is MP Dinesh Gunawardene.When i suggested on CT much before Indrajith was appointed, that he would be the ideal candidate for the post of Governer I received a kind of backlash because according to the pundits he was not even wait listed.
    I am not a futurist as Doris Day’s classic song Que Sera Sera says”the future is not ours to see” but however I could speculate that there is a possibility Dinesh Gunawardene may join the Government,This may be a bombshell in political circles but we can recall how his illustrious father the most respected late Philip Gunawardene a father of Marxism abandoned Karl Marx and joined the UNP Govt and made a sizeable contribution to the upliftment of agriculture in our country.Dinesh is considered a talented politician and maybe he may offer his talent to the Govt like his father did. However only time will tell

    • 2
      1

      Good job he abandoned Karl Marx and that theory of his that has been proven wrong on every count! Let us hope saner counsel prevails with the son as well.

    • 1
      1

      No wonder why corrupt politicians keep on getting elected. There must be lot of guys and gals with the mindset of Colin. It is the CURSE, guys like Colin are perhaps the new breed born out of corruption. Otherwise, Colin would not have made the above remarks. I feel sorry for our motherland.

      • 1
        0

        Peter Pan

        “No wonder why corrupt politicians keep on getting elected.”.

        I wonder why you vote at all and then complain about corrupt politicians? Are you one of them who benefited from the corrupt politicians?

        Don’t you think its time we trace the origin of corruption among politicians.

  • 2
    5

    Yes; Maithripala Sirisena did appoint Indrajith for the Camera and fulfill the obligation of placing his signature. Whatever the positive spinning is done, “Pukka Sahib” club of Colombo has succeeded this time also to “pull the wool over Sri Lankans eyes” very effectively.

    • 3
      1

      I don’t like “Pukka Sahib Clubs” myself, but please be open enough to discover for yourself that Indrajit and family are very different from the sort of people you refer to.

      The impression I get is that you are one of those envious guys whose hearts are never at ease when “they behold a greater than themselves”.

      As for Maithri, despite his sibling problems, he’s a wonderful guy – whom I’ve never met!

  • 1
    3

    F u Dr IC
    You helped a terrorist .
    We are all aware of it.
    Just because you married a half cast Sinhala woman doesn’t change who or what you are .
    She bennifited from your income from Galleon.
    Don’t try to bullshit the public.
    Don’t think everyone thinks of you like the spineless goat the president & this balles advisors.
    One of them is already in the limelight.
    Your days are numbered, don’t think think of yourself as a pukka sahib.
    You only came back to SL after Your dealings with Galleon were over & no respectable corporation will take an old fool like you except someone who does not know how to add up 1+2*3

  • 3
    1

    Sona.

    You say Dr.IC helped a Terrorist!
    Two Presidents have helped the Terrorists:
    One with Arms and Cement bags:The other with bags of money to prevent voters from exercising their franchise!
    Why double standards?
    Besides Dr.IC has been absolved of the LTTE-even by Dinesh Gunawardena!

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