Sri Lanka faces foreign debt repayment amid political crisis: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

PM set to form new alliance within next two weeks.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said on Thursday, the country was struggling to pay back its foreign debt and blamed the recent political crisis for dealing with a “death blow” to the country’s economy.

Sri Lankan prime minister said his government was jostling to raise up to $1.9 billion in order to help pay back first debt worth $2.6 billion which is due on Monday.

According to a record for the cash-strapped island country, Sri Lanka is facing about $5.9 billion in its foreign debt repayments.

According to news reports, during the position struggle between Wickremesinghe and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in 2018, the country has lost approximately $1 billion in its foreign reserves.

In October, Sirisena has sacked Wickremesinghe and later decided to dissolve parliament, but however, an apex court ruled out and called Sirisena’s move as an “unconstitutional” move. Wickremesinghe said he was reappointed as the country’s prime minister after 51 days of the recent political crisis.

Wickremesinghe told the parliament, “We are yet to quantify the losses, but it was a death blow to an economy that was struggling to recover.”

Sri Lanka was hoping to raise $1 billion from the international debt market, and another $500 million from Japan and China, and further $400 million from the Reserve Bank of India.

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