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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

June 22, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Thursday appointed Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the governor of the Central Bank, president Mahinda Rajapakse’s office said in a statement. A chartered accountant by profession, Cabraal was earlier the secretary to the Plan and Implementation Ministry and a top economic advisor to Rajapakse.

Cabraal succeeds businessman Sunil Mendis who relinquished his post recently for personal reasons, the statement added.

Mendis, a former chairman of the diversified Hayleys Group, steps down on June 30, after completing three out of his six-year term.

Cabraal’s family business Cabraal Consulting currently runs Capital Reach Holdings Ltd., a local financial services company.

A former member of the main opposition United National Party, Cabraal crossed over to back Rajapakse during this November 2005 presidential campaign. He subsequently left all his private-sector positions to serve under Rajapakse, who also wears the cap as the island’s finance minister.