Australia to provide assistance within IMF framework Source:dailynews.lk Australian Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neill has said that the Australian Government will assist Sri Lanka in overcoming the present economic crisis in compliance with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) framework. Minister O’Neill, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka, made these remarks when she called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at President’s House in Colombo, yesterday. The ‘Zero Chance’ campaign for illegal migration and human trafficking was the policy of the previous Conservative Government of Australia. Minister O’Neill stated the same is the policy of the new Labour Government too. President Rajapaksa explaining the steps that he had taken when he was the Defence Secretary to prevent illegal migration said that the Navy is taking such actions as are necessary to prevent illegal migration. President Rajapaksa appreciated the support of the Australian Government in providing naval, technical and material assistance ...

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SRI LANKA NEEDS FEWER POLITICIANS AND MORE TECHNOLOGISTS – By Dr. Tilak S. Fernando   “There are rumours that Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had to take over the finance portfolio since no member of the Sri Lankan Parliament was willing to take up this challenge of managing the country’s finances. Instead of looking at the scenario negatively, it would be appropriate to think that the Prime Minister taking over the finance portfolio is also a progressive step, as the finance portfolio requires the maximum attention at this stage,” says veteran Indian journalist N.S. Venkataramanin in his latest article, which landed in my email ‘in box’. He further states that ‘when the Sri Lankan Government negotiated with the IMF to obtain financial support, the present scenario appears to be that the IMF is procrastinating the issue and has not given a firm assurance to the Sri Lankan Government. When ...

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Sri Lanka Political Crisis triggered by an economic Collapse – By Dr harold Gunatillake Transcript: *Sri Lanka’s Newly Proposed Constitutional Reforms *Powers of the president will be clipped, and powers of the parliament strengthened *Protesting youth to be invited to be part of governance under political reforms. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that under proposed constitutional reforms, the president’s powers would be clipped and those of parliament strengthened. In a televised statement, he said that governance would be broad-based through parliamentary committees where politicians, youth, and experts work together. “The youth are calling for a change in the existing system. They also want to know the current issues. Therefore, I propose to appoint four youth representatives to each of these 15 committees,” Wickremesinghe said. “The methodology used to choose these individuals can be decided by the youth organisations themselves,” he said. So far, there have been no immediate comments from ...

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Taking a closer look at ‘aragalaya’ – By Dr. Tilak S. Fernando   The ‘Aragalaya’ or the protest by peaceful demonstrators in front of the Presidential Secretariat has exceeded fifty days and continues. The protesters claim the 6.9 million who voted for a change and for Gotabaya Rajapaksa failed to deliver what was promised on election platforms.  Fuel prices have gone up several times to unprecedented levels. Consequently, people stand in long queues mainly for petrol, gas and milk-food, while consumer prices are sky high. The scarcity of medicines in hospitals is also flashing red lights. People complain they have to spend their time in queues constantly. The poor cannot afford the wave of fuel and consumer price hikes. Yet, it is the fault of all Governments since Ceylon became independent in 1948 for not implementing robust economic policies. Still, everyone blames the present President in a matter of three ...

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SRI LANKA NEWS (MAY 2022)- By Victor Melder. Tea production in March had slumped by 24% to 22 million kg from a year earlier, marking it as the lowest crop since 2009, Asia Siyaka Commodities said. It also said in 2020 when the country went into complete lockdown in mid-March and production declined to 13.5 million kg. Quoting Sri Lanka Tea Board preliminary data, Asia Siyaka said first quarter production dropped by 15% to 63 million kg from 74.5 million kg a year ago. This year’s January – March figure is also the lowest since 2009. In that year production slumped due to fallout from the global financial crisis and the market collapsed, teas remained unsold and farmers stopped plucking their fields and estates were pruned.  Asia Siyaka said this year’s first quarter losses however resulted from dry weather that took its toll on bushes that had not received adequate fertilizer ...

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Sri Lanka-current 27th May 2022 – By Dr Harold Gunatillake *Sri Lanka PM to take over as finance minister too. Ali Sabry, previous finance minister, resigns *Wickremesinghe will present an interim budget within six weeks that will slash government expenditure ‘to the bone’. *The PM is seeking $4bn from the IMF, China and Japan to pay for food and fuel even as he slashes the budget to ‘bare bones’. *Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa Appeals for Bridging Finance in TokyoLanka has run out of money to pay for food, fuel, medicines and other daily need. *Sri Lanka hikes fuel prices, hires financial and legal advisers *Sri Lanka’s inflation increased by 20-24 per cent Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will take charge as finance minister, the president’s office has announced. It will lead talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the crisis-hit nation seeks a bailout. “Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn ...

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Sri Lanka Is a Small Preview of a Global Default Crisis – By Ruth Pollard The country is already wracked with shortages. The social order may shatter if the economy isn’t infused with cash soon.   Source:bloomberg.com High school teacher S. Jeeva has spent two days in the baking sun lining up for cooking gas in the north of Sri Lanka’s capital. He’s been standing with thousands of others waiting for a delivery that, so far, hasn’t come. Meanwhile, many of his students, who will sit for important national exams Monday, have joined protests against the government at the waterfront along Colombo’s iconic Galle Face Green. Both are symbols of the economic and political crisis gripping the nation — the result of decades of corruption and financial mismanagement that pushed the country to default on May 19. It is, Jeeva says, his students’ democratic right to protest and demand a better government. Daily life has become ...

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News In Sri Lanka – by Dr harold Gunatillake   Website: doctorharold.com Transcript: Bringing the most important latest news to your doorstep “If the ongoing protests diminish through fatigue and fail to monitor Wickremasinghe, Lanka’s fall into the abyss will not only be inevitable but extremely painful as well”. Sasanka Perera-Professor of Sociology and Dean of Social Sciences at South Asian University, New Delhi. In his first interview since taking office, Mr Wickremesinghe told the BBC he would ensure families get three meals a day. Appealing to the world for more financial help, he said, “there won’t be a hunger crisis; we will find food”. The new PM described the Sri Lankan economy as “broken”, but he said his message to Sri Lankans was to “be patient; I will bring things back”. Sri Lanka’s political and socio-economic disaster turned into deadly combat between the progovernment thugs with the backing of Mahinda ...

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Ranil Wickremesinghe: Sri Lanka’s new prime minister faces uphill battle – by George Wright Source:bbc.com News that Ranil Wickremesinghe is the new prime minister has been largely met with dismay and disbelief in Sri Lanka. His appointment is being viewed as yet another arrogant response by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to weeks of protests over rising prices and shortages. Mr Wickremesinghe is seen as being close to the Rajapaksa family, and many think he has been chosen because he will be likely to guarantee their security. Protests flared up in early April in the capital, Colombo, and have grown in size and spread across the country. People are furious because the cost of living has become unaffordable, and nine people have lost their lives in the unrest. Why are Sri Lankans protesting in the streets? However some say his experience and links with India and the West could help overcome the ...

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Wickremesinghe chosen Sri Lanka PM in effort to quell crisis – by Krishan Francis and Bharatha Mallawarachi Source:ctvnews.ca COLOMBO, SRI LANKA – Five-time former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was reappointed on Thursday in an effort to bring stability to the island nation, which is engulfed in a political and economic crisis. Wickremesinghe, a contentious choice by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, took his oath in a ceremony at the president’s residence. Protesters have blocked the entrance to the president’s office for more than a month. The president’s brother, Mahinda Rajakapsa, resigned as prime minister on Monday following violent attacks by supporters on peaceful anti-government protesters. His resignation automatically dissolved the Cabinet, leaving an administrative vacuum. The president’s selection of Wickremesinghe is an attempt to end the violence and restore international credibility as the government negotiates a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund. Sri Lankans for months have been forced to ...

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