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Central Bank Governor says president's statement 'ridiculous and untrue'

Sri Lanka's Central Bank Governor Ajith Cabraal on Sunday rejected the president's statement that over Rs. 9 trillion in foreign loans are accounted for as "ridiculous and untrue". 

The statement "may even be bordering on lunacy", Mr Cabraal was quoted by the island as saying. 

"If what the president claims is correct, the unaccounted loans will amount to a staggering 90% of GDP!" Mr Cabraal added. 

"Although the President may have made this irresponsible statement to sling mud at the previous regime as he regularly does, I do not think he realizes the grave danger that he is imposing on our economy with media releases of this nature. 

"In that context, as the Governor of the Central Bank from 2006 to 2014, I urge all foreign investors who invested in Sri Lanka’s Government Securities at our invitation from 2006 to 2014 not to panic, since President Sirisena’s statement is without any foundation whatsoever.

"I also assure them that Sri Lanka has diligently and faithfully recorded all foreign borrowings in accordance with our laws and regulations as well the terms of issue, during the time of the previous government.

"I also condemn this reckless statement, and call upon the president and his government to desist from making statements of this nature that will surely damage the good name of our economy, which has been built up over the years with great care and dedication by thousands of responsible public servants and a dynamic private sector."