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Elections could dent Sri Lanka’s recovery: ADB

12 April 2024 10:09 pm - 53     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, April 12 - Sri Lanka's recovery could be stalled by abrupt policy changes after elections later this year even as the economy showed signs of stabilising, the Asian Development Bank warned Friday.

The island nation weathered an unprecedented financial crisis in 2022 that forced a foreign debt default as well as food and fuel shortages that prompted months of unrest.

It secured a $2.9 billion rescue loan from the International Monetary Fund last year, with President Ranil Wickremesinghe hiking taxes and cutting generous subsidies to restore the government's ruined finances.
But the ADB said presidential polls due by October could weaken the commitment to austerity measures.

"Risks to the outlook tend to the downside," the bank said in its latest forecast on Sri Lanka's economy.

Among them, the most important is uncertainty associated with the upcoming elections, including any possible impact on fiscal policy and reform implementation."

Wickremesinghe is seeking re-election and his two principal challengers so far have both opposed his efforts to balance the budget in line with the IMF rescue package.

The ADB also warned that any delay in restructuring Sri Lanka's external debt could also impact prospects.


  Comments - 53

  • Joshua Friday, 12 April 2024 10:30 PM

    There is nothing to lose in a country eaten by greedy politicians. The people want elections. So ADB can keep its trap shut

    I don't think so Friday, 12 April 2024 10:42 PM

    Is elections more important than economic recovery from abysmal conditions?

    Senpera Saturday, 13 April 2024 12:34 AM

    Nothing to lose? LOL, imagine your shock when we lose and sink even more. You must've thought Gota would save the country didn't you?

    Panini Edirisinhe Saturday, 13 April 2024 02:12 AM

    Yes, we must have elections. Even the ADB knows that. After proper elections are held, the new President (whoever he may be) must be astute enough to know what to do. Even as it is, big business is unfairly trying to help illegitimate Ranil.

    STAR Saturday, 13 April 2024 04:14 AM

    How did the ADB lend money to a corrupt regime before ensuring the credibility. They should be investigated in the first place. The country cannot recover with corrupt swindlers holding high positions.

    Elections and Revamping Urgently Needed Saturday, 13 April 2024 05:34 AM

    @ I don’t Think so- this economic meltdown didn’t happen over night and its recovery won’t happen over night either. It will take several generations at the rate this and previous governments were and are spending on a colossal Tri Forces, blotted government sector, politician’s perks with endless security personnel etc. That’s why elections are paramount to end this madness and revamp this system. Their policy is keep on taking new loans, increase taxes and move on without giving a hoot on the people’s and country’s development. Either you are still in dreamland or part of these idiocy of politicians!

    Ruben Huling Saturday, 13 April 2024 05:47 AM

    I don't think so, What economic recovery , are you talking about. It may be the recovery a selected few received from Ranil to carry on their usual corrupt and hedonistic life styles while 70% of the population struggles to feed, cloth and stay alive.

    Last chance Saturday, 13 April 2024 05:54 AM

    I don’t Think so ,pl allow democracy to take place. People will decide whether they need Ranil or some one. The whole world knows Ranil is not elected by the people. Further the economic recovery is useless when the ordinary man can’t have one square meal a day.

    Patriot Saturday, 13 April 2024 06:18 AM

    See... The idiots in our country

    John Black Saturday, 13 April 2024 06:57 AM

    Unfortunately it's idiots like this who ruined the country. First they voted for MR in droves, then GR and now AD the biggest crook of them all.

    Flee the country to escape! - but where? Saturday, 13 April 2024 07:08 AM

    You are wrong. The nation will lose several billions if an election is held. If it is not a loss, then what is a loss? ADB or its staff will not go hungry, but it is you and I - ordinary citizens who have to suffer! NOT THE POLITICIANS! Do you plan to flee to India? India is reeling under population explosion!

    Kevin Saturday, 13 April 2024 07:18 AM

    Agree. Japan is the largest biilateral creditor if you add ADB too as it is fully owned by the Japanese government. That's the real reason they are worried. But IMF wants SL to hold elections. Guess who will prevail.

    Sokrates Saturday, 13 April 2024 09:06 AM

    @ I don't think so. A constitutional election is definitely more important in a democracy than that of a bank that fears that its loans will be repaid. Furthermore, this is interference and manipulation of the presidential election on the part of the ADB. It can be assumed that Ranil is behind it, who is trying everything, including dirty measures, to stay in power. Other candidates cannot deliver worse economic policies than Ranil.

    kapila Saturday, 13 April 2024 09:40 AM

    Yes. 100% agree

    Condor Saturday, 13 April 2024 10:25 AM

    Also, electing Anura or Sajith will destroy SL.

    Drone Saturday, 13 April 2024 10:27 AM

    People wearing coloured glasses always think the party is above the country.

    Premalal Perera Saturday, 13 April 2024 10:37 AM

    Absolutely, the will of the people is sovereign in a democracy. So ADB can get stuffed.

    GD Friday, 12 April 2024 11:03 PM

    ADB campaigning??????

    Lk Friday, 12 April 2024 11:20 PM

    This is a clear cut statement to say that they are using this economic crisis for their political objective. All of them are scared of election because impending defeats . Out 225 more than 150 will face defeating in the election. They don't care about people or economy but they care about this seat . People know all this . The country needs a stable government with solid people not with this old aged people . Give the chance for young blood and clever and honest people . All economic crisis will disappear soon. What we need an honest leadership not this old dying people

    Patriot Saturday, 13 April 2024 11:31 AM

    Of course every sensible person is scared of defeat because those kaiyos will do the same or worse than what gota did. Do you want that to happen?

    Jude Friday, 12 April 2024 11:32 PM

    ADB shouldn't dectate terms and influence NOT to hold elections!! If we can get rid of the Scumbag politicians then the country economy better-off and most importantly the රතු සහෝදරයන් will eliminate government corruption thus saving BILLIONS and Billions of rupees, yeah.

    Ara Saturday, 13 April 2024 01:32 AM

    ADB IMF all part of western control mechanisms, elections r important so that people can choose who they want to run the country and not ruled by people that the western world want

    Sam Saturday, 13 April 2024 03:58 AM

    Still waiting for change in the system so that younger generations will not leave our mother land. Always did things to benefit you all to keep us in poverty. What has happened money laundering regulations which the Western countries brought?

    FredSnR Saturday, 13 April 2024 05:08 AM

    You must have elections and after elections there will be changes, policy and otherwise, that is normal. The ADB is run by individuals who have self-interest in mind, their self-interest, and that is normal too. SELF-RELIANCE is the key, hard work is the way, thrift is a virtue

    Ram Saturday, 13 April 2024 05:11 AM

    It appears that ADB is not in favour of elections. They have just made a hint. Are we to be dictated by these Banks or lending institutions?

    Kalana Jinadasa Saturday, 13 April 2024 11:41 PM

    Aren't you dictated by terms and conditions of the bank when/if you take a loan from a bank?

    Ranya Saturday, 13 April 2024 05:19 AM

    There is no recovery, the country is in a worst position compared to the situation existed two year ago. The politicians and bureaucrats are hoodwinking the nation with gimmicks. If the country has recovered why more than 70 percent of the population live below the poverty line and country has not even begun to pay back the debt owed for not holding Presidential election.

    Ama Saturday, 13 April 2024 06:21 AM

    One of the reasons that the country encountered ECONOMIC CRISIS is that people sent SLPPers to the parliament as their "reoresentatives". It is important they should be removed from their MP position for the country's betterment.

    Jude Saturday, 13 April 2024 06:33 AM

    Hey ADB you're in the business of lending money but you've absolutely NO right to dictate terms on holding elections! Period!!

    Ruwani Saturday, 13 April 2024 07:06 AM

    This is why the knowledgeable people don't want elections. But the power hungry politicians want only their party politics to hold sway and demand nothing less than elections. Sad, our people never understand.

    Kevin Saturday, 13 April 2024 07:15 AM

    IMF thinks otherwise. It is a precondition in the understanding between SL and the IMF that the democratic process, specifically elections, must be followed. Besides there are no constitutional provisions not to hold a presidential election. Parliamentary elections can be postponed or a referendum can be held instead.

    Eper Saturday, 13 April 2024 07:38 AM

    ADB is bullshit. Elections signify democracy , Even if you are bankrupt.

    Nimal Saturday, 13 April 2024 07:48 AM

    There is hardly any economic recovery. No effective steps have been taken to enhance the GDP. All that has been done is to delay the repayment of loan instalments. People of this country insist that elections be held as scheduled even though the local government elections have been heinously withheld.

    Sambo Saturday, 13 April 2024 07:56 AM

    The recovery is only on paper but not in reality. As public we need a change in the administration no matter what the world thinks.

    Upulpb Saturday, 13 April 2024 08:25 AM

    No election will result having no country

    Amal Fernando Saturday, 13 April 2024 08:37 AM

    Peoples sovereignty is above all. RW or any other person should have a proper mandate to take important decisions

    johan Saturday, 13 April 2024 09:10 AM

    Elections are more important as per constitution. Because no body has power to rule a country without people's mandate.Mandate was over before two years when President and Pm were chased away by people.

    Roger Halliday Saturday, 13 April 2024 09:47 AM

    I think all donor agencies should focus on corruption and state institution that are liabilities. The lies from the authorities saying people are happy, major issues are resolved etc

    Patriot Saturday, 13 April 2024 11:33 AM

    ADB is right. We can't risk anymore economic meltdown. There's no chance of any experiments now.

    Ranjan Saturday, 13 April 2024 11:34 AM

    Elections will be held as planned. And Ranil will emerged as the victor. It's only him who can take this country forward.

    Malathi Saturday, 13 April 2024 11:37 AM

    ADB has a point there. We can't trust Anura or Sajith would continue these policies further. If they try to change them IMF will withdraw the support putting as back to the hell we were in two years ago.

    ONLY AN INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE CONSISTING OF HONOURABLE INDIVIDUALS WHO TRULY CARE FOR THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE WILL BRING OUT THE TRUTH Sunday, 14 April 2024 07:44 PM

    SO, YOU CAN TRUST RANIL WHO WAS PUT IN BY GOTA AND NOT THE PEOPLE? WHY DON'T YOU PUT ON YOUR THINKING CAP AND TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHY RANIL HAS NOT SET UP AN INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE SINCE TAKING OVER FROM GOTA? WHEELING AND DEALING MAY HAVE BEEN DONE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS PRIOR TO HIS APPOINTMENT. I HOPE THERE IS A MAJOR CHANGE COMING ELECTIONS AND FIRST JOB WOULD BE TO GO TAKE A LOOK UNDER THE CARPET AND BRING ALL THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COUNTRY'S DOWNFALL BEFORE A COURT OF LAW AND GIVE THE POEPLE THE JUSTICE THEY WELL DESERVE WITHOUT DELAY.

    Voter Saturday, 13 April 2024 11:55 AM

    If ADB would personally fund me to live a life of luxury,then I too would go against elections,if not an election should be held to choose a legitimate president.

    R F P Perera Saturday, 13 April 2024 12:15 PM

    What is required now public trust in their government so that disorderly country can be bound together under newly elected president and parliament to under take this critical reforms. We need transparency in governance and justice equally hard woke coupled with competition , reforms in whole public sector ,gradual reforms in labor market and training of existing carders for new technology and trade liberalization ,contingency liability management and change in altitudes towards each other both employees and employers to facilitate increased productivity.

    Central Bank Thief as Dinesh called him Saturday, 13 April 2024 12:28 PM

    How can these people trust a man who robbed the Central Bank. Elections must be held and people of Sri Lanka will choose their next leader. Let it be Ranil, Sajith or Anura. So called rich and elites think that they own this country and poor masses are there to serve them. That era is coming to an end. ADB helped corrupt regimes of JR, Preme, Chandrika, Ranil, Mahinda, Gota who practiced nepotism and looted this country. What not a government run by Anura or Sajith?

    FredSnR Saturday, 13 April 2024 12:38 PM

    Maybe some stability has been restored from the mess SL was in but there is no recovery and it is poorly run. Cars, eggs, anything can become an issue while fundamental problems remain unsolved Need elections, fresh thinking, new ideas, young blood otherwise how can you tackle TODAYS problems. And if you want respect from the IMF go with your own ideas and own plan and negotiate.That's how we can progress and mature as a nation otherwise we will become a vassal state, always taking orders from others, unable to think for itself

    KD Saturday, 13 April 2024 01:07 PM

    It's not the holding of the elections that can cause problems. It's if the new leader and parliament decide to suddenly change all the hard earned policies of last two years. Then country will be headed to a disaster. And with people clamoring for the terrorist JVP leader we are on track for yet another economic disaster. This one we wont recover from for next two decades.

    Enlightened Saturday, 13 April 2024 02:22 PM

    The legitimate clinical punishment for corruption and theft is the election. But constitutionaly permitted 'frog-deals' make all elections useless and not so clinical most of the time. It is person's attitude for common good that eliminate corruption and maintain law and order. Such persons not available to nominate among 225 who are only making big noises to deceive people and steal votes by bribing GPO when elections are closer. High time for a presidential election together with a referendum for a sain constitution(already drafted by Vitharana commission, with changes if necessary) or else this elusive apparent recovery would be short-lived only until Israel

    Gt Saturday, 13 April 2024 02:27 PM

    We need to elect someone who will investigate, imprison and reclaim stolen money from crook politicians 10s of billions of dollars were stolen by politicians and current president has done nothing to repatriate this money, he has only helped hide their dirty deeds including his own, so even if we elect an idiot, he must be honest and with the return of stolen wealth we can pay off all debts and tell adb and if to goto hell

    Nihal S Saturday, 13 April 2024 04:15 PM

    ADB, why are you taking Ranil's side? You should be talking against the corruptions

    M Fernando Saturday, 13 April 2024 04:58 PM

    Why have elections ? Let's just make RW king and be done with it. This is what is called "disinformation" No one has the right to tell a sovereign country when they can or cannot have elections.

    Namal Palangoda Monday, 15 April 2024 07:59 AM

    ADB wants to continue with these thieves in the parliament? See what has happened after Myna the Alibaba and his 40 thieves!

    FredSnR Monday, 15 April 2024 08:18 AM

    A debtor nation is not a sovereign nation. Lenders want borrowers who will do what they say. They are called conditions. Must have elections. Elected leader must show the people the CORRECT way to get out of debt ,which is to work hard and to be thrifty. The poor will have to be supported not by money ,subsidies alone which is a short term solution but also by giving them the Opportunity. In short you need a more level playing field so that more people can enjoy the prosperity when it is created.But there is NO SUBSTITUTE for HARD WORK and THRIFT Everyone will have to work to make it happen, both Rich AND Poor. Everyone.


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