Nivard Cabraal clarifies picture on his relations in banking

"Corrupt and ignorant politicians trying to judge us by their standards"


Ajith Cabraal

Much has been said by certain interested parties about my sister, Siromi Wickramasinghe being appointed as the Chairman of the HDFC Bank by the previous government. In that regard, I can only say that she was a "fit and proper" person to hold that position, having risen to the rank of a Deputy General Manager of the Hatton National Bank in an impeccable banking career.

In addition, as I have already informed COPE, there were several other relations who also served on the boards of banks in their own right with honesty and professionalism, as they were qualified, competent, and respected persons in society. For completeness sake, let me list out those who served on the Bank boards, in their own right:

Nihal Fonseka - first cousin - Director and CEO of DFCC Bank;

Amal Cabraal - first cousin- Director of HNB;

Ravi Thambiayah - brother in law - Director of DFCC;

Sunil Wijesinha - brother in law - Chairman of NDB;

Dhara Wijayatilake - sister in law - Director of Sampath Bank;

Shibani Thambiayah - niece - Director of DFCC Vardhana.

Several of my relations serve on Bank boards even now, and in fact, Nihal Fonseka presently serves on the Monetary Board of the Central Bank, while Amal Cabraal serves on the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee of the Central Bank and the Board of HNB. In addition, the following relations, Dhara Wijayatilake (Sampath Bank) and Shibani Thambiayah (DFCC Bank) continue to serve on Bank boards, while brother-in-law, Ranel Wijesinha (Bank of Ceylon) and nephew-in-law, Anush Wijesinha (Seylan Bank), have also been appointed to Bank boards during the past two years.

As would be clear, it would  outrageous for anyone to insinuate that any of the above-mentioned relation of mine would have ever been influenced by me, or that they would have attempted to influence me. As a respected and highly professional family, we have all conducted ourselves with dignity, honesty and professionalism, and it is pathetic to see some corrupt and ignorant politicians attempting to judge us by their contemptible standards. 

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