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Sri Lankan President Confirms Scheduled Presidential and General Elections

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickramasinghe has announced that both the presidential election and the subsequent general election will proceed as planned. In his address, the President underscored his dedication to fostering economic stability within the nation and swiftly transitioning Sri Lanka into an export-oriented economy.

President Wickramasinghe also highlighted ongoing discussions aimed at restoring Sri Lanka’s status as a debt-paying nation on the global platform. These deliberations are expected to conclude by June and July.

Furthermore, he emphasized the retrieval and return of foreign aid lost due to the country’s bankruptcy designation.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these statements at the inauguration ceremony of Bodhigara and Golden Fence, constructed near the historic Mangedara Tempita Viharaya in Kegalle.

He was quoted by the President’s Media Division stating, “Over the past year, we have played a crucial role in rescuing the country from economic troubles. If these challenges persist, we may endure another two or three years of hardship. However, as an initial step, we have now reached the final stage of the government’s program aimed at steering the country away from bankruptcy. Achieving this required numerous steps, but we’ve successfully executed them in a remarkably short timeframe. The ongoing discussions are reaching their last phase, and we anticipate wrapping them up by tomorrow. Following that, our objective is to proceed with negotiations involving the countries that have provided loans to us. This process is being overseen by France, Japan, and India, who are chairing the discussions involving all the countries that have officially lent money to us.”

He added, “The local staff and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are anticipated to reach a staff-level agreement this weekend after concluding their discussions. Concurrently, discussions with China are ongoing, and discussions with private creditors are underway. The Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank are scheduled to return to Europe to engage in discussions with these groups. Following the declaration of our bankruptcy-free status, a joint meeting of the World Bank and the IMF is planned for April. Subsequently, the relevant agreement is expected to be signed shortly thereafter.”

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