By Kalana Ratnayake –
“The Honuorable Minister of Finance, In July, 1948, the Government of Ceylon transmitted a request to the Government of the United States through the American Embassy at Colombo asking for the service of an official of the Federal Reserve System to advice upon the establishment of a Reserve Bank for Ceylon. As a result of subsequent negotiations you accepted on November 25th the offer of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to lend my services for an initial period of six months. I arrived in Colombo, on December 28th and took up my task…” ~ John Exter on 4th November, 1949.
The above passage was cited from the ‘Letter of Submittal’ given by the first Governor of the Central Bank of Ceylon, John Exter. This American along with the gentlemen who ruled this beautiful island during those days initiated the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as far back as 1950. By then, Ceylon could buy more imports from their export income. One pound of rationed rice was approximately 30-cents and flour was 23-cents. Those were the days where there was around Rs.70 million of surplus in Government income after Rs.312.9 million of Government expenditure was reduced from Government revenue of Rs.383.3 million in 1946). In the bygone era, Ceylon stood in the world like a giant. The economy was handled by men who held immaculate integrity and unreserved honesty.
In contrast, the Rajapaksa regime stripping all norms of civilization, has now, given the head of the August post of Sri Lankan economy to a found criminal, named Ajith Nivard Cabraal, as the 16th Governor today, when Sri Lanka is economically crawling towards a dungeon.
Fortunately, against this man, Ajith Nivard Cabral, a Writ Petition bearing no. CA/Writ/417/21 has been filed by the former Governor of Southern Province Rajith Keerthi Thennakoon.
The allegations in the Petition are both astounding and distressing. On reading the contents, one may not get surprised to see Sri Lanka going back to an apocalyptic age, where only the jungle law prevailed. The man who is branded as the most shrewd money swindler ever produced in Sri Lanka has now been appointed by the Rajapaksa’s as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. It is very sad. Everything now depends on the Judiciary; if this man gets away this time too, he shall even sell the Supreme Court as well, albeit hands down!
Here are some excerpts of the Writ Petition filed against Cabraal:
It has made 6-Respondents as parties to the case and the 3rd Respondent is Cabraal.
The Petitioner alleges that during the ‘Yahapalana’ government (08-01-2015 to 17-11-2019), former President, Hon. Maithripala Sirisena appointed a Special Presidential Commission to investigate the white collar crimes committed by certain group of persons in the process of issuance of Government Treasury Bonds from 01-02-2015 to 31-03-2016. As a result, 3-members Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry, consisted of Justice K. T. Chitrasiri, late Justice Prasanna Jayawardena and retired Deputy Auditor General, V. Kandasamy was appointed and according to the recommendations made by the aforesaid inquiry report, Central Bank and the Monitory Board of the Central Bank appointed a company called BDO India, LLP (an Indian Company which offers Assurance, Tax, Advisory, Business and Forensic services) to conduct a forensic audit based on the aforesaid special Presidential Commission Report. The aforesaid Company submitted its Forensic Audit Reports and as per the said reports, there were ample evidence which have disclosed that how Ajith Nivard Cabral had done a colossal loss through his family tree whilst he was holding the office of Governor of Central bank during 2006 to 2015.
The Petitioner has alleged that according to the aforesaid forensic Report pertaining to the review period of (“1 January 2002 to 28 February 2015”) calculated that the Central bank of Sri Lanka had incurred losses between Rs. 10.4 – 10.6 Billion from year 2005 to 2015 to the Sri Lanka Government, whilst the Ajith Nivard Cabral was the head of Central bank. Whilst these damning evidence which show how Ajith Nivad Cabral had pillaged the public money of this poor country, the Petitioners says that 1st Respondent Attorney General and the 2nd Respondent Inspector General of Police have not taken any action to arrest or issue an indictment against this most wanted man.
Petitioner has questioned how the 1st Respondent – Attorney General has not taken steps to indict the 03rd Respondent – Ajith Nivard Cabral along or/parallel with Arjuna Aloysius, Arjuna Mahendran et al. The Petitioner has also said that the 3rd Respondent, Cabral by entering into hedging deal, reportedly made a loss over $ 200 million of Dollars and by investing at Greek Bonds a loss about 10-Billion of Rupees when Greece was headed for an economic ruin.
In this backdrop, the Petitioner has sought a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus to compel the Attorney General to file a separate indictment against Ajith Nivad Cabral, a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus to compel the Inspector General of Police to arrest, detain and record a statement from the Ajith Nivad Cabral considering evidence available within the Forensic Audit Report.
Whilst all the said crimes and economic misadventures are decorating the Curriculum Vitae of Ajith Nivad Cabral, the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed the foremer for the head of Central Bank. Thus, the Petitioner has asked to stay the appointment of Ajith Nivard Cabral from acting as the post of Central bank Governor of Sri Lanka until the final determination of this action is entertained.
Keerthi Thennakoon is represented by Maithri Gunrathne, President’s Counsel, Shiral Lakthilaka and Ashan Nanayakkara, Attorneys-at-Law instructed by ‘NICLO’ Associates.