Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy on Tuesday acknowledged that he had carried out macroeconomic research for Raj Rajaratnam — Sri Lankan-born investor who once ran one of the largest hedge funds in the world and was convicted for insider trading in the U.S. five years ago.
Clarifying his position, Dr. Coomaraswamy told a press conference that when he was finishing his assignment at the Commonwealth Secretariat (in 2008), Rajaratnam had approached him and “it was a question of delivering professional services to him”. This happened for 10-11 months and his job was “to prepare research reports”.
The operations stopped when Rajaratnam was charged, but it took another year to get the whole thing wound up, he said, adding that “At the time I did that work, clearly, it was before he was charged with any misdemeanour”.
Dr. Coomaraswamy had known Rajaratnam for long when both were at the University of Sussex, where he was a research student and the latter, an undergraduate.
Describing Rajaratnam as his friend from the university days, the Governor said Rajaratnam, who had a “tremendous amount of money”, did a lot of charity work in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. “That’s the Raj Rajaratnam I knew,” he said.