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Lankan court bars former Central Bank of Sri Lanka governor from leaving country

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Colombo, Apr 7: A local court in Sri Lanka on Thursday barred Ajith Nivard Cabraal, former central Bank of Sri Lanka governor, who resigned earlier this week, from travelling out of the country as mounting economic woes roil the island nation.

Lankan court bars former Central Bank of Sri Lanka governor from leaving the country

The Colombo Chief Magistrate court issued the order in response to a case filed by a public interest activist Keerthi Tennakoon over Cabraal's alleged "misdeeds" when he was the Central Bank governor in his first tenure between 2006 and 2015.

Cabraal, 67, must appear before the magistrate here on April 18, according to the order. Cabraal, who had resisted calls for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout, resigned on Monday, less than seven months after being appointed.

In September 2021, he replaced WD Lakshman to take over for his second term as Central Bank governor. A former state minister of finance and a Member of Parliament since August 2020, Cabraal had earlier served as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka between 2006 to 2015.

In his second stint, the veteran policy-maker displayed his proclivity on reducing reliance on foreign debts and was reluctant to seek a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund despite the Sri Lankan economy going into a tailspin. Cabraal left office at a time when inflation in Sri Lanka was at an all-time high.

The economic downturn has worsened that citizens are enduring hours-long power cuts, prices of essentials are going through the roof, fuel stations are running dry and mass protests have been held holding the ruling dispensation responsible for the crisis. Cabraal was widely blamed for his rigid stance against the IMF bailout package. PTI

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