Colombo: Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday said that the unrest had delayed a possible deal with the International Monetary Fund to help pull the bankrupt nation out of its economic crisis and urged political parties must work together on finding permanent solutions to the issues faced by Sri Lanka.
He further said that there is no point in blaming former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the economic crisis but rather urged all political parties to come together to take the country out of the economic mess and repay the debt. Speaking in Kandy, a city in Sri Lanka on Saturday, Ranil Wickremesinghe said that an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not fully resolve Sri Lanka`s issues, Colombo Gazette reported.
Sri Lanka needs to look at ways of paying back its loans, he said. During his address, the President highlighted that the protests had delayed a possible deal with the IMF which was progressing after he assumed duties as Prime Minister. However, he said that the negotiations stalled due to instability in the island nation over the past few weeks as agitators stormed the nation amid extreme fuel and food shortages.
Wickremesinghe stated that a deal may now happen after the end of August and also reiterated that other countries are not willing to offer financial assistance to the island nation until a deal is reached with the IMF, reported Colombo Gazette. The President said that Sri Lanka needs to find ways to repay its loans as IMF will not fully resolve the issues faced by the country, he added.
According to the Sri Lanka administration, 27,900 people went outside in search of jobs in the month of June this year.The Sri Lanka foreign employment bureau informed that 9,854 people have gone abroad for jobs through the licensed foreign employment agency. It goes on to detail how more than 1.5 lakh people have left the country since January this year. It further added that most Sri Lankans prefer to go to Gulf countries.
Others move to countries like South Korea and Japan.Sri Lanka`s economy is bracing for a sharp contraction due to the unavailability of basic inputs for production, an 80 per cent depreciation of the currency since March 2022, coupled with a lack of foreign reserves , and the country`s failure to meet its international debt obligations.
Hundreds of Sri Lankans continue to queue up at petrol pumps across the debt-ridden country every day amid fuel shortage, and a large number of people are ditching their cars and motorcycles for bicycles for their daily commute.The economic crisis which is the worst in Sri Lanka`s history has prompted an acute shortage of essential items like fuel.