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Sri Lankan bankers muddle through the mire


Faced with a political and economic crisis, Sri Lanka’s top bank chief executives took matters into their own hands to prevent a collapse of the country’s financial system.

When Sri Lanka’s economy began to implode earlier this year, the island’s bankers had no choice but to try to rise above the mess created by the government. So Sanath Manatunge, chief executive of Commercial Bank of Ceylon (ComBank), did something that ambitious banking executives seldom do: he openly talked up his banking competitors.

Manatunge, who has worked at ComBank for more than 30 years, took over as chief executive in the middle of May, at the height of the island’s ongoing economic inferno.