NEW DELHI: Amid the severe economic crisis, extreme shortage of essentials, and street protests, the Sri Lankan Parliament is likely to reconvene between April 19 to 22 in a bid to bring about a no-confidence motion against President Gotabaya Rajapaksha.
“We have called a meeting with all opposition leaders and will take a day a final decision soon,’’ said Sri Lankan opposition leader, Sajith Premadasa.
Meanwhile, India has sent a consignment of food and vegetables to Sri Lanka today, in its bid to continue assisting the Island nation.
“I think India has helped the most, even in non-financial ways so we are thankful. No Chinese investments have been done yet, the only discussions going on with China are regarding the repayment of loans,’’ said former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Wickremesinghe said during their rule there was a surplus on the primary budget and money to pay debts. The present government is responsible for the economic crisis.
India has already supplied over 270,000 MT of fuels to Sri Lanka till now and granted $2.5 billion line of credit. Sri Lanka needs an additional $3 billion in funds to keep it afloat.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had assured Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksha (who visited India twice in recent months) that India would stand with Sri Lanka as it occupies a central role in New Delhi’s `neighbourhood first policy.’
Sri Lanka is also facing a foreign exchange shortage which has limited its imports of essentials and they are now dependent on assistance from neighbours like India.
In February the country was left with only $2.31 billion in its reserves but faces debt payments of $4 billion in 2022 – this includes a $1 billion International Sovereign Bond (ISB) maturing in July. ISB makes up the largest share of Sri Lanka’s $12.55 billion foreign debt.
IMF is expected to initiate a loan to Sri Lanka during the course of this week.
Meanwhile, there is a trickle of refugees too coming into India. Around 40 refugees have already come to Tamil Nadu. In addition, there are over 1 lakh Sri Lankan Tamils who live in India.
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