Sri Lanka Crisis: Central Bank head sacked, new governor appointed

P. Nandalal Weerasinghe, a career central banker, was appointed to head Sri Lanka’s monetary authority

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, April 05, 2022, 10:58 AM IST
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P. Nandalal Weerasinghe | Government of Sri Lanka

The governor of Sri Lanka's central bank said that he had submitted his resignation as the country faces its worst economic crisis in decades.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal's announcement came after all of the country's cabinet ministers resigned.

Following this, Bloomberg reported that P. Nandalal Weerasinghe, a career central banker, was appointed to head Sri Lanka’s monetary authority as the government seeks to pull the South Asian nation out of an economic tailspin, avoid a bond default and start aid talks with the International Monetary Fund.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has not yet made an official announcement on Mr Weerasinghe's appointment. A spokesman for the bank told the BBC that it is waiting for confirmation from the country's president.

Speaking by phone from Australia, Mr Weerasinghe said that he had been offered the role and had accepted it.

"I'll take up the position of the governor of the central bank once I go back to Sri Lanka on the 7th [of April]," he said.

However, he declined to comment on any of his plans for Sri Lanka's crisis-hit economy or when a decision on interest rates would be made.

"I need to go back and see how it goes," Mr Weerasinghe said.

"But I've already started work," he added.

With a doctorate in economics from the Australian National University, Weerasinghe previously served as an alternative executive director at the IMF until 2011 and as the central bank’s chief economist, according to the authority’s website. He had chaired the CBSL’s monetary policy committee and foreign reserve management committee.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday that it is monitoring political and economic developments in Sri Lanka "very closely" as public unrest in the island nation grows amid its worst economic crisis in decades.

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