Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka trying to emerge from economic crisis


Sri Lanka is slowly trying to emerge after the economic crisis. Meanwhile, President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday accused smaller political parties of trying to derail efforts to tackle the crisis through court orders. The head of the island nation criticized him for this.

In late June, the government got parliamentary approval for domestic debt restructuring (DDR) as part of its efforts to tide over the economic crisis. We have got parliamentary approval for local debt restructuring, Wickremesinghe said while addressing a gathering. Some opposition groups opposed it. Some people did not turn up to vote in Parliament.

Referring to the importance of the debt restructuring programme, the President said that now some organizations are trying to harm it by using the courts. If this program stops, foreign governments will stop working with us. The country will again queue for fuel and farmers will be left without fertiliser, he said.

He said that the government would only be determined by the Parliament. Wickremesinghe said that all fiscal matters are handled by Parliament, and only Parliament can decide on these issues. His remarks were a reference to the opposition JVP (Janata Vimukthi Peramuna or People’s Liberation Front), which filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court in late June seeking an order to stop DDR measures being applied to pension funds.

The JVP, citing 46 respondents, sought an order that would stop the deduction of loans received by the government from the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) under DDR. The JVP claimed that EPF and ETF funds would take a hit from the DDR, affecting the savings of employees.

Sri Lanka has to finalize its external and domestic debt restructuring by September when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will first review the $2.9 billion bailout it granted in March this year. Sri Lanka was hit by its worst economic crisis in history when the country’s foreign exchange reserves fell to a critical low and the public took to the streets to protest shortages of fuel, fertilizers as well as essential commodities.

economic crisisSri LankaSri Lanka trying to emerge from economic crisis