Lankan court extends travel ban on ex-governor of Central Bank

Colombo: A local court here on Monday extended a travel ban on Ajith Nivard Cabraal, former governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, from travelling abroad as mounting economic woes roil the island nation.

On April 7, the Colombo Magistrate's court barred Cabraal from travelling out.

The court has extended a travel ban on Cabraal, 67, and has also ordered him to appear in court again on May 2, the Colombo Gazette newsportal reported. The order was issued in relation 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, who had resisted calls for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout, resigned on April 3, 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.

Cabraal left office at a time when inflation in Sri Lanka was at an all-time high.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from the UK in 1948.

The economic crisis also triggered a political turmoil in the island nation with citizens holding nationwide street protests for weeks over lengthy power cuts and shortage of fuel, food and other daily essentials and demanding the ouster of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Cabraal was widely blamed for his rigid stance against the IMF bailout package for the country.

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