Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Nanda and Siri; Old Wine in a new bottle

We know the meaning of; Old Wine in a new bottle. That is  someone is packaging current or old ideas and practices in a way which makes them appear to be modern/innovative, particularly with the intention of pretending that they are “new” or keeping them alive or making them look more attractive to audiences.

Both Nandalal and Siriwardana left the Central Bank with a lot heartache in 2021. Especially, Nandalal. He was over looked both by Ranil Wickremesinghe and later by Gotabaya Rajapakse for Governor. In fact at a meeting with the President during the height of the pandemic.

The President blasted the Central Bank in the presence of Nandalal for failing to come up with a viable plan for economic revival. To add to all this Dr PB Jayasundara made sure both  Nanda and Siri packed their bags and took retirement. He was heard to criticize them both openly. For their rigidity and lack of ideas.

It is said however both made sure they looked after their pensions, but left with a heavy heart according to their colleagues. Both Siriwardana and Weerasinghe were criticized several times by the Bond Commission in their report for their inaction to stop the bad practices that had become part of the Central Bank ethos. Weerasinghe was effectively no 2 of the Central Bank..

Therefore Siri and Nanda are both equally responsible for the debt build up as much as Nivard Cabraal and Indrajith Coomaraswamy. Indrajith is now an advisor to the President.

The former Governor Cabraal several times alleged that the Yahapalana government borrowed unnecessarily. The current crisis he said was a result of excessive borrowing of the Central Bank in 2019. So when Weerasinghe was offered the job with the resignation of Cabraal it was a dream come true for Nandalal. He was spending his retirement with his family in Australia. His article on the state of the economy in the local media had got the attention of the government.

He knew Cabraal was on his way out. That an opportunity would arise. The man was jubilant according to sources when it was offered. Very few would have anyway taken the job. The social media campaign created anticipation. He had even saved India when he was seconded to the IMF, a post said. He was received at the Airport by the Airforce and whisked away in a Benz from the airport. All the TV channels showed him arriving. A social media campaign highlighted that Weerasinghe was a savior.

He even said the opposition supported him. But wanted independence. He was quick to criticize his former boss Cabraal’s policies. Several social media post have slowly begun to show up challenging Weerasinghe’s squeaky clean image and capability that he is trying to project on social media. Whilst Cabraal is seen as a villain.

The other members of the CBSL board were praised by Nandalal. They should both (Jayamaha and Jayawardena) resign. If they have an iota of decency. What the Central Bank has done pre and post Cabraal has led to a tale of utter despair. It is interminable pain to the public.

It is difficult to express in words the level of abject scarcity, desperation and hopelessness that people have fallen to. So bureaucrats sitting in their high offices must take note of the average man when they take decisions on behalf of the country as pointed out by Former Prime Minister Wickramasinghe.

Moreover they should stop passing the buck to their predecessors and focus on the serious job at hand. The honeymoon is over both for Siri and Nanda. There is no point criticizing Cabraal. We certainly are keeping eye on what’s going on and also those bond trading that happened over the years. Because bureaucrats must deliver or go home.

The country has no time left.


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