Sri Lanka’s repayment of foreign debt, including bonds and government-to-government borrowings, has been put on hold pending the conclusion of a loan restructuring program with the International Monetary Fund to address the island nation’s worst economic crisis in decades, the government announced Tuesday. For months, Sri Lankans have faced fuel, food, and other essentials shortages, as well as frequent power outages. The majority of these purchases are made in hard currency, but Sri Lanka is on the verge of bankruptcy, with diminishing foreign reserves and a $25 billion foreign debt. This year, about $7 billion is due.
Arjuna Ranatunga, a former cricketer and minister, encouraged all Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to come and help their country during the prevailing economic crisis on Tuesday. Sri Lanka is in the midst of a severe economic crisis, with food and fuel shortages affecting a substantial portion of the population. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy has been in free slide.
Meanwhile, two members of the ruling coalition who had previously defected returned to the fold on Tuesday. State ministers were sworn in by the members, including Shantha Bandara of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. With parliamentarians returning, Rajapaksa may appoint his cabinet on Tuesday, according to sources contacted by PTI. Dissident political groups, on the other hand, announced willingness to establish an interim administration under a new Prime Minister on Monday.