rainn.png
Thursday August 11th, 2022 2:19AM

Indian officials in Sri Lanka for talks on ailing economy

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Senior Indian officials began talks Thursday with Sri Lankan leaders on economic assistance, a day after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced the country’s economy had “collapsed.”

Sri Lankans have endured months of shortages of food, fuel and other necessities due to the country’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves and mounting debt, worsened by the pandemic and other longer term troubles.

India’s foreign secretary and the chief government economic adviser met with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe and were later scheduled to meet other top officials.

Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the delegation said India was ready to help Sri Lanka achieve a “quick economic recovery through promoting investments, connectivity and strengthening economic linkages.” There was no immediate comment from the Sri Lankan side.

Wickremesinghe's gloomy comments to Parliament on Wednesday appeared aimed at fending off criticism over a deteriorating situation long in the making. Economists and other Sri Lankans said they were hoping the government would find ways to revive the economy.

“What the prime minister should do is not to make announcements. He has to come up with a plan to reactivate the system,” said W.A Wijewardena, an economist and former deputy governor of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank.

Ordinary Sri Lankans have grown disillusioned as they skimp on meals and go without other necessities, seeing their quality of life crumble due to forces beyond their control.

At midnight Wednesday, retired government employee Dharmasena Perera leaned on his motorbike at a fuel station on the outskirts of the capital Colombo, trying to catch some sleep after spending nearly 15 hours waiting in line to buy fuel. He said he joined the line at 6 in the morning and went without lunch and dinner. At midnight, he was still waiting for his turn.

“He (the PM) always says things are getting bad and difficult. It seems he also does not have solutions,” Perera said.

At another fuel station in Gampaha, a town about 30 kilometers (18 miles) northeast of Colombo, salesman Nuwan Pradeep likewise said people were well enough aware of the crisis, but the government appeared to have no solutions.

“There is no point in just explaining the same problem to us all the time,” said Pradeep.

India has supported Sri Lanka with a $4 billion credit line to help it buy fuel and other essentials.

Sri Lanka also is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund on a bailout after it stopped payments on its debts.

___

Associated Press writer Sheikh Saaliq in New Delhi, India contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Afghans bury dead, dig for survivors after quake kills 1,000
Villagers rushed to bury the dead and dug by hand through the rubble of their homes in search of survivors of a powerful earthquake in eastern Afghanistan
8:14AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Myanmar says Suu Kyi held alone in new prison quarters
Myanmar’s military has confirmed that ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved to a prison where she will have quarters separate from other detainees
7:58AM ( 26 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Why Sri Lanka's economy collapsed and what's next
Sri Lanka’s prime minister says the island nation's debt-laden economy has “collapsed” as it runs out of money to pay for food and fuel
7:43AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trains canceled in UK as unions stage 2nd 24-hour walkout
Millions of people in Britain are facing disruption as railway staff stage their second national walkout of the week
6:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
N. Korea talks of new army duties suggest nuclear deployment
North Korea's military leaders have discussed assigning additional duties to front-line army units
5:31AM ( 2 hours ago )
WHO considers declaring monkeypox a global health emergency
As the World Health Organization convenes its emergency committee Thursday to consider if the spiraling outbreak of monkeypox warrants being declared a global emergency, some experts say WHO’s decision to act only after the disease spilled into the West could entrench the inequities that arose between rich and poor countries during the coronavirus pandemic
5:14AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Exec returns to Toyota as adviser after '15 arrest in Japan
An American executive who resigned from Toyota after being arrested in Japan in 2015 on suspicion of drug law violations has returned to the Japanese automaker
6:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
Air France-KLM boss warns travelers: Go to the airport early
The chief of airline alliance Air France-KLM says it will take weeks or months to get new security staff in place to lighten pressure on the Amsterdam airport
6:17AM ( 2 hours ago )
Global stocks, Wall St mixed on growth worries
European stocks have opened lower while Asian markets gained after the Federal Reserve chairman said a recession is possible as the U.S. central bank raises interest rates to cool surging inflation
5:17AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
EXPLAINER: How Biden's proposed gas tax holiday would work
Facing stubbornly high gas prices that average about $5 a gallon nationwide, President Joe Biden has urged Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months
7:13PM ( 13 hours ago )
Biden calls for 3-month suspension of gas and diesel taxes
President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months — an election-year move meant to ease financial pressures
6:04PM ( 14 hours ago )
US stocks give up afternoon gains and end slightly lower
Stocks gave up an afternoon gain and ended slightly lower on Wall Street Wednesday
4:37PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Powell: Fed aiming to avoid recession amid inflation fight
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sought to reassure the public that the Fed will raise interest rates high and fast enough to quell inflation, without tightening credit so much as to throttle the economy and cause a recession
12:41PM ( 19 hours ago )
Stocks edge higher, remain turbulent amid recession worries
Stocks turned slighlty higher in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday, shaking off an early loss
11:17AM ( 21 hours ago )
Saudi crown prince visits Turkey as countries normalize ties
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has arrived in Ankara, making his first visit to Turkey following the slaying of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul
10:43AM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Afghans bury dead, dig for survivors after quake kills 1,000
Villagers rushed to bury the dead and dug by hand through the rubble of their homes in search of survivors of a powerful earthquake in eastern Afghanistan
8:14AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Myanmar says Suu Kyi held alone in new prison quarters
Myanmar’s military has confirmed that ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved to a prison where she will have quarters separate from other detainees
7:58AM ( 26 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Why Sri Lanka's economy collapsed and what's next
Sri Lanka’s prime minister says the island nation's debt-laden economy has “collapsed” as it runs out of money to pay for food and fuel
7:43AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Airport chaos: European travel runs into pandemic cutbacks
After two years of pandemic restrictions, travel demand is back, but airlines and airports that slashed jobs during the depths of the COVID-19 crisis are struggling to keep up
7:33AM ( 51 minutes ago )
Russians focus firepower to seize 2 villages in east Ukraine
Ukrainian authorities say Russia's military captured two villages in eastern Ukraine and were vying for control of a key highway in a continued offensive on the frontline
7:30AM ( 53 minutes ago )