Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday the unrest had delayed a possible deal with the International Monetary Fund to help pull the bankrupt country out of its economic crisis and urged political parties to work together to find permanent solutions to the problems faced by Sri Lanka. .
He further said that there was no point in blaming former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the economic crisis but rather urged all political parties to unite to pull the country out of economic mess and repay the debt.
Speaking in Kandy, a city in Sri Lanka, on Saturday, Ranil Wickremesinghe said a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would not completely solve Sri Lanka’s problems, Colombo Gazette reported.
Sri Lanka must look for ways to repay its loans, he said.
During his remarks, the president pointed out that the protests had delayed a possible agreement with the IMF which was progressing after he took office as prime minister.
However, he said negotiations had stalled due to instability in the island nation in recent weeks as agitators stormed the country amid extreme fuel and food shortages.
Wickremesinghe said a deal could now be done after the end of August and also reiterated that other countries are unwilling to offer financial aid to the island nation until a deal is in place. concluded with the IMF, Colombo Gazette reported.
The president said Sri Lanka must find ways to repay its loans as the IMF will not fully solve the problems facing the country, he added.
According to the Sri Lankan administration, 27,900 people went out in search of jobs in June this year.
The Sri Lankan Overseas Employment Bureau informed that 9,854 people left to work abroad 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. He further added that most Sri Lankans prefer to travel to the Gulf countries. Others are moving to countries like South Korea and Japan.
The Sri Lankan economy is preparing for a sharp contraction due to the unavailability of basic inputs for production, an 80% depreciation of the currency since March 2022, coupled with a lack of foreign exchange reserves and the country’s failure to meet its international debt obligations.
Hundreds of Sri Lankans continue to queue at petrol pumps across the debt-ridden country every day due to fuel shortages, and large numbers of people are ditching their cars and motorbikes for bicycles for their daily commute. .
The economic crisis, the worst in Sri Lanka’s history, has caused severe shortages of essential items like fuel.
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