Court has asked the central bank to provide payment details for ISB worth 500 million USD.
According to a lawyer, a Sri Lankan court has asked the central bank to provide payment details for a 500 million US dollar international sovereign bond (ISB) repayment made in January when former governor Ajith Nivard Cabral was in charge of the central bank (23).
The court requested the information after political activist Ranjith Keerthi Tennakoon requested it while his case against Cabral’s alleged misappropriation during his first term as governor from 2006 to 2015 resulted in an extended travel ban until July 25.
“The court has requested the central bank to provide details on which sovereign bondholders were paid in January of this year,” said Maithri Gunaratne, a lawyer who appeared on Tennakoon’s behalf.
Critics of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government have questioned why Cabral decided to pay bondholders 500 million US dollars from the country’s dwindling foreign reserves when the country was facing a severe dollar shortage.
Sri Lanka is now experiencing fuel, kerosine, and cooking gas queues due to a lack of dollars to import them.
Since February, the manufacturing and service sectors have been hit by extended power outages due to a lack of dollars.
People have also complained about hospitals running out of essential medicines due to a lack of US dollars.
According to some sources, the central bank under Cabral did not want to default on the 500 million US dollar sovereign bonds because some of his close allies had purchased the bonds before they fully matured.
Cabral has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Cabral did not immediately respond to the court’s request for comment.