Sri Lanka-News as of 24th June 2022 – By Dr Harold Gunatillake Sri Lanka’s economy ‘has completely  collapsed’, says despairing PM Transcript: India stands ready to help Sri Lanka in quick economic recovery through promoting investments, connectivity and strengthening economic linkages,” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi posted on Twitter. Sri Lanka’s prime minister says its debt-laden economy has collapsed after months of food, fuel and electricity shortages, and the South Asian island nation cannot even purchase imported oil. “We are now facing a far more serious situation beyond the mere shortages of fuel, gas, electricity and food. Our economy has completely collapsed. That is the most serious issue before us today,” Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament on Wednesday. “Currently, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is $700 million in debt,” he told MPs. “As a result, no country or organisation in the world is willing to provide fuel to us. ...

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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 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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SRI LANKA NEEDS LESS NUMBER OF POLITICIANS AND MORE NUMBER OF TECHNOLOGISTS – by N.S.Venkataraman There are rumours that Sri Lankan Prime Minister   Ranil Wickremesinghe  had to take over the finance portfolio also, since no member of Sri Lankan parliament was willing to take up this challenge of managing the country’s  finance.  Instead of looking at the scenario in  such negative manner, it would be appropriate to think that Prime Minister taking over the finance portfolio also is a progressive step , as the finance portfolio requires the maximum attention at this stage. While the Sri Lankan government is negotiating with IMF to get financial assistance , it appears that the decision of IMF is yet to be taken firmly.  Meanwhile, Sri Lankan government approached the World Bank and it is said that the World Bank ruled out any new assistance to Sri Lanka , until an adequate macro economic ...

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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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                                    LET NOT THE POLITICIANS  DRAG DOWN  SRI LANKA’S  RECOVERY – by N.S.Venkataraman  While  the economic crisis in Sri Lanka has drawn the attention of the entire world and several governments are concerned about the turn of events in  Sri Lanka, it is sad that politicians in Sri Lanka are discussing more about political issues  rather than about economic issues. The ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka can be sorted out in quick time only by finding technological and industrial / agro management solutions and not by political solutions.  Obviously, the fate of  Sri Lanka today depends on utilising the services of economists, technologists and industrial executives   who have the expertise and not by the antics of politicians.  The present situation demands that politicians should go silent at least until such time that Sri Lanka’s ...

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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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A story to tell- by somasundaram sandakumar   Source:ft.lk This article was one of 75 stories that got published by the Australian High Commission in its website (www. 75yearsaustraliasrilanka.com) to commemorate 75 years of bilateral ties – Australia and Sri Lanka. It was written on invitation. Year 2017, was regarded as the most eventful ever in the history of Sri Lanka-Australia relationship and hence the significance. In February 2017, my team and I at the Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia were informed that then-Prime Minister (PM) Ranil Wickremesinghe had been invited to deliver the keynote address and accept an honorary doctorate at the Deakin Law School graduation. We immediately communicated the news to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and inquired if the trip could be made into an official state visit – after all, that year marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and ...

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Is there a credible political alternative for Sri Lanka? by Tissa Jayatilaka Why do Sri Lankan voters elect and re-elect corrupt and discredited politicians?  This topic has been much talked about and commented on in newspapers and social media ever since Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a rare moment of self-realisation, asked the above question from the voters of Sri Lanka. Why indeed? Two years before the president posed this question in November 2019, I asked myself the very same question when to my disbelief and dismay, 6.9 million voters elected Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) as executive president. For the purposes of this essay I consider GR to have been a politician since 2005 when, as a political appointee to the post of secretary to the ministry of defence, he wielded more power than any other politician except his older sibling, the then executive president. A few months after the presidential election, when ...

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