Sat, 04 Dec 2021 Today's Paper

State Minister Cabraal: right on reserves with reservations

28 January 2021 12:01 am - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



To evaluate the state minister’s claim FactCheck consulted the 2014 and 2019 Annual Reports of the Central Bank and the Central Bank’s Weekly Economic Indicators. FactCheck considers the state minister to be referring to Gross Official Reserves (GOR). 

The state minister’s first claim “we had USD 8.2 billion in reserves” suggests this was the reserve position when President Mahinda Rajapaksa left office on 9 January 2015. The most recent publicly available data on reserves prior to that date is the reserve position on 31 December 2014, which places GOR at USD 8.2 billion as claimed.

The second claim is that the reserve position was down by 7% to USD 7.6 billion when the government changed with the election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 16 November 2019. GOR immediately prior to and after (on 31 October and 30 November 2019) was USD 7.8 billion and 7.5 billion respectively. The state minister’s claim falls between these two figures.

The available data is in line with the state minister’s claims. Therefore, we classify his statement as TRUE.
*FactCheck’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck will revisit the assessment.

Additional Notes:

(i) Decline in GOR in 2020: by November 2020, GOR was USD 5.6 billion, which is a reduction of 26% since November 2019.

(ii) GOR Quality: USD 8.2 billion reserves in 2014 included USD 2,196 million worth of swaps maturing within 12 months, whereas in October and November 2019, swaps maturing within 12 months amounted to USD 419 million. By November 2020 swaps had increased to USD 1,415 million. This is indicative of a superior quality of reserves in 2019 compared to 2014 and 2020.



FactCheck is a platform run by Verité Research. 
For comments, suggestions and feedback, please visit   


  Comments - 4

  • roni Saturday, 30 January 2021 12:02 AM

    Does reserves take into consideration borrowing and loans obtained?.

    Martin Milton Monday, 01 February 2021 05:34 PM

    Wish these guys would stop feeding the President apparent falsehoods regarding Sri Lanka;'s economy. MM

    Weisser Vandercunt Friday, 05 February 2021 10:15 AM

    Isn't it the Presidents duty to ascertain the facts before he rattles on about how well the economy is performing? If not he's attempting to hoodwink the public.

    Sambo Monday, 01 February 2021 08:30 PM

    This guy is an arch liar and cannot be trusted in anything he says. He is an Jack in the Box.

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment

A Sri Lankan giving dignified burials to unclaimed bodies for five decades

After their death, most people are memorialized at a service, surrounded by g

Focus on Laggala Gem mining big shots bigger than the law

The truth is now being uncovered regarding an illegal mining racket in state

How and why the TNA was formed twenty years ago

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is now twenty years of age. The premier pol

India lays emphasis on culture diplomacy with Sri Lanka

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to inaugurate the Kushinagar Inter