IMF-Sri Lanka talks positive-BY CHAMIKARA WEERASINGHE Source:Sundayobserver The talks in Colombo between the nine-member staff mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and senior officials from the Finance Ministry have made key progress in restructuring the country’s balance of payments for much needed financial consolidation, sources at the Prime Minister’s office told the Sunday Observer yesterday. “IMF-Government negotiations have moved in a positive direction from the start. The chances are that the IMF will reach a staff-level agreement with Sri Lanka,” a Finance Ministry official said. “This will be critical for channelling IMF funds for an economic stabilisation program. It will also create a positive background for obtaining external loans.” When the country enters into a staff-level agreement with the IMF, the country will not have to deal with issues like the recent refusal by an international bank to serve as a guarantor for Sri Lanka’s purchase of fuel, which ...

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IMF delegation here today to discuss loan agreement-by Shiromi Abeyasinghe Source:Dailynews An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation will arrive in Sri Lanka today (20) to finalise the staff-level agreement on the loan requested by Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe telephoned International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on June 7 and requested her to expedite the staff-level agreement on the loan requested by Sri Lanka as soon as possible. PM Wickremesinghe was informed on June 9 about the visit of the IMF delegation due today. ...

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Sri Lanka Progress talks IMF Bailing Out Details – By Dr Harold Gunathilake Website: www.Doctorharold.com Transcript: Wickremesinghe requested that the staff-level delegation from financial institutions visit Colombo as soon as possible to finalise the staff-level agreement. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva to send a team to Colombo “as soon as possible” so that a staff-level agreement could be finalised as his cash-starved government is seeking to find USD 6 billion to keep the country afloat for the next six months. During his talks with the IMF Managing Director on Tuesday, Wickremesinghe “requested that the staff-level delegation from the IMF visit Sri Lanka as soon as possible so that the staff-level agreement could be finalised,” online portal news first. Lk reported on Wednesday, quoting a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Media Division. The statement said that Georgieva expressed her willingness to support Sri Lanka ...

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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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What’s happening in Sri Lanka? Country facing worst economic crisis and on the brink of bankruptcy – by Megan Baynes   Source:news.sky.com In a country where limes cost 240% more than they did last year, and with a looming economic and food crisis, protests continue to play out between those demanding the government resign and those in support of it. Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy and now facing its worst economic crisis since independence, with acute shortages of food, fuel and other essentials. Protests have been taking place on the island nation of 22 million people since the end of March between pro-government supporters and those calling for an immediate change in authority. The background Sri Lanka, which gained independence from the UK in 1948, emerged from a devastating civil war in 2009. In 2019, the country was rocked by Easter Sunday bombings – 250 people were killed ...

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Broke, downgraded and begging: Sri Lanka pays price for missteps – by MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR South Asian nation’s economic crisis draws comparisons with Lebanon’s meltdown Source:asia.nikkei.com BANGKOK — Sri Lanka’s failure to settle interest payments on sovereign bonds and its subsequent ratings downgrade have drawn unflattering comparisons with the economic meltdown in Lebanon. The South Asian nation on April 18 failed to pay interest of $78.13 million on $1.25 billion of bonds. Standard & Poor’s followed up this week with a downgrade to a “selective default” rating — the latest knife in the back of the debt-ridden economy. Foreign investors who had bought the island’s international sovereign bonds (ISBs) were angry that they were misled by promises the debt would be paid. The principal cheerleader was Nivard Cabraal, the then central bank governor. Throughout he stood by views he had expressed to Nikkei in a February interview: “I am determined to ...

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Sri Lanka gives $1 billion relief as anger grows over food costs Source:timesofindia.indiatimes.com COLOMBO: Sri Lanka unveiled a $1 billion relief package as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government seeks to temper growing public anger over the surging prices of essential food and medical items in a country that’s running out of foreign exchange to pay for imports. The government will raise civil servants salaries and pensions, remove some taxes on food and medicine and provide cash for its poorest citizens, a move critics say won’t help Sri Lanka’s state of finances and soaring inflation. The package accounts for 1.2% of gross domestic product, and will be re-allocated from the 3.9 trillion rupees budgeted to be spent in the whole of 2022, Rajapaksa’s brother and finance minister Basil Rajapaksa told a briefing in Colombo late Monday. There are no plans for new taxes, he added. The relief covers about 2 million people who are on ...

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  SRI LANKA NEWS –  (NOVEMBER  2019) –    Compiled by Victor Melder. Sri Lanka’s top court on Tuesday effectively blocked a plan by the president to bring back hangings for the first time since 1976 before he leaves office this month. Maithripala Sirisena said in June that he had signed death warrants for four drug offenders — mirroring the Philippines’ no-holds-barred anti-narcotics drive — alarming rights groups and the international community. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court extended on Tuesday a stay order until the hearing of 15 petitions filed against Sirisena’s bid. “The bench extended the stay order till December 9,” a lawyer representing civil society groups, who call hanging a “cruel and degrading”, said after a brief hearing. Sirisena is not seeking re-election and must leave office as soon as a winner is declared after the November 16 election, more than three weeks before the court resumes hearings. There ...

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Mirror Business interview with Prof Arusha Cooray Lack of fiscal discipline has plagued Lankan governments over the years: economist – Dr. Arusha Cooray Mirror Business conducted an email interview with Dr. Arusha Cooray, the Lankan born Professor of Economics at the Nottingham University Business School (Malaysia), over the current economic situation of Sri Lanka. Dr. Cooray’s work is widely published and she is one of the leading academics in the field of economics Sri Lanka has produced. Sri Lanka’s economy is currently undergoing extremely testing times amid depleting foreign reserves, an unsustainable debt pile and a looming balance of payment (BoP) crunch. The bad economic policies of successive governments are at fault for the current predicament the country is in, but the present global economic developments also haven’t been in favour of the US $ 82 billion economy. Following are the excerpts of the interview. What is your opinion of ...

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