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Sri Lanka cannot simply walk away from IMF: Ranil

27 January 2024 02:00 am - 47     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


President Ranil Wickremesinghe addresses Sri Lanka Customs Department at International Customs Day 2024 celebrations in Colombo

  • Highlights intricacies of agreement
  • Urges parliamentary leaders of all political parties to engage in comprehensive discussions on position regarding IMF agreement
  • Expresses willingness to extend an invitation to IMF Managing Director 

Sri Lanka cannot simply dismiss its engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasised while citing the complexities that could arise, if a decision is made to do so.

Sri Lanka recently formalised an agreement with the IMF, a collective response to address the profound economic challenges the nation faced, marked as the most severe in its history. This pact stands among agreements endorsed by numerous nations, involving approximately 15-20 others.

“It is an agreement we cannot simply walk away from, necessitating collective discussion and consideration.

However, the unfortunate reality is that our political landscape often resembles the fleeting nature of ‘papadam’ —put in the pan, enjoyed when it blooms and soon forgotten. The cycle repeats, with new issues emerging, gaining momentary attention and eventually fading into oblivion,” he said, speaking at the International Customs Day celebrations yesterday.

Acknowledging the profound implications of the decision on both the present and future generations, Wickremesinghe urged the parliamentary leaders of all political parties to engage in comprehensive discussions concerning the nation’s position on the IMF agreement and whether any amendments are deemed prudent.

Wickremesinghe expressed his willingness to extend an invitation to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, for participation in a collective discourse within Sri Lanka. He urged the stakeholders to collaboratively explore diverse perspectives and propose modifications deemed advantageous. 

“Let us collaboratively explore different perspectives and propose modifications, if deemed beneficial. While the amendment process is open for consideration, it is imperative to acknowledge the existing agreement and work towards its implementation,” he said.

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  Comments - 47

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  • Mizaru Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:21 AM

    Why not. It is our car and our petrol. Yes, you and the bunch of robbers or looters worship the IMF. We all saw that.

    wickrama wijayasiri Saturday, 27 January 2024 11:10 AM

    It may be your car, but surely the petrol needs to be paid for. Thanks to the IMF we are on a path to recovery. No free 'meals' anymore. You have to pay for what you consume. Beggars cannot be choosers. Your stupid way of voting for freebies got the crooks elected and getting free meals for a while. Cough-up buddy! When the colonial British, who came here to make money, left Ceylon, we had a credit balance in Ceylon's treasury. You and your kith and kin ate it up and the politicians you elected in return for 'free or subsidized food' put the balance in their pockets. Pay-up! You have an option to go back to the Sirima Era too, with the JVP'

    Samson Saturday, 27 January 2024 11:13 AM

    You did every negotiation on your own in secrecy. Now you have to face them . We can walk away but not you.

    SenPera Saturday, 27 January 2024 01:04 PM

    Haha, no one will ever deal with Sri Lanka again and the country will spiral back to hyperinflation should the IMF deal fall through. Good luck living once that happens

    Tissa Fernando Saturday, 27 January 2024 01:24 PM

    @Mizaru, please go back to school and get an education, dummy!

    Mahila Monday, 29 January 2024 05:46 AM

    OFCOURSE, IT'S ALL YOURS - "PARAMPARAWA MUDHAL"!!! You (meaning Sri Lankans’ Tom Buffoonery – electing Governments based on “HANDENG GENAPU HAAL” - Katha) do whatever theirs’ and that of their Erudite Leaders' sane minds chuck out – promising God's Own journey!!! That FREEDOM is assured!!? Undisputable!!! Whatever "NATTUMA", Kleptocracy may desire, Remember, something called 'CREDIT RATING'

    Bushel Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:29 AM

    You mentioned a word about elections at this addressing but it didn't give any meaning and wonder what made you to say so. All parties will never get together with you so you handover the power to NPPP and go home. Then People will support IMF

    Dr. K.A.W. Ranasinghe Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:41 AM

    Papadam Ranil don't talk nonsense listening to MR you appointed Nishantha, Prasanna, Diyana Gamage, Rambukwella as State Ministers and Minister to serve you as Thugs to cover you. God above is watching all your dirty activities. Don't squeeze the poor man, it's a curse man.

    Sokrates Saturday, 27 January 2024 08:52 AM

    Sri Lanka is known for breaking its contracts and failing to keep promises. That is why it is considered untrustworthy worldwide.

    Ranjan Sunday, 28 January 2024 02:00 AM

    Absolutely correct. How long can we go on like this and be "Lotus Eaters"? We have to face it and wear it and come as winners for the sake of our future generations to come. But first eradicate corruption in all walks of life and we will see a better future.

    Voter Saturday, 27 January 2024 09:55 AM

    Sri Lanka won’t walk away from IMF, but Sri Lankans top priority for now is to chase you lot away and renegotiate with IMF some sort of bearable agreement which will see bit of relief for masses not like your planned election rope…

    Janet Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:03 AM

    Present regim's errors and faliures cannot be considered as a qualification for so called alternatives JVP or contaminated SJB. They are all same.

    Nimal Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:30 AM

    Of course, we cannot simply walk away from the IMF debt trap. You have taken us directly into the trap and generations to come will have to pay for the gross mismanagement of the economy and the plundering of national wealth by parliamentarians and their stooges over the last two decades. The helpless people not have to bear this burden. Sooner we chase these scoundrels the better.

    Jude Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:38 AM

    Next government gonna be NPP and they're gonna renegotiate the deal.

    wickrama wijayasiri Saturday, 27 January 2024 11:20 AM

    What is there to renegotiate? Pay-up for what you consume!! I could remember one woman promising to give two measures of rice even it has to be brought down from the moon. Clean-up your own house. Lay-off excess staff, get the remaining to work honestly and be productive, enforce rules and regulations impartially and fairly, recover the ill-gotten loot. You will be OK. JVP cannot renegotiate to get you free food! Taking from the haves and redistributing amongst the poor will work for a short while only. They will eat it up and will come back for more, where there would be nothing left to be had. Examine what happened to our plantation sector with such policies.

    Nothing is Free Saturday, 27 January 2024 01:35 PM

    Nothing is free. U pay taxes

    Out of the frying pan into the fire Saturday, 27 January 2024 03:05 PM

    NPP will make Sri Lamka bankrupt PERMANENTLY.

    Sam Silva Saturday, 27 January 2024 06:27 PM

    Be careful your wish will come true !!.

    Nimal Saturday, 27 January 2024 12:13 PM

    No political party ever said that they would walk away from IMF. You are trying to spin this into an election issue which it is clearly not because there is no other choice. If some party wants to re-negotiate, let them try because even if they fail, the worst would be the Current IMF deal will have to stand.

    Thimal Samarajeewa Saturday, 27 January 2024 12:39 PM

    Best example is what is happening in Argentina. A new president was elected recently with popular vote thinking that he will uplift their predicament. However he has adopted austerity measures in order to bring down the present inflation of 140% and also planning to privatise all SOEs. He has become so unpopular within a short period and trade unions have resorted to strikes. Any one can promise lot of thinks during campaigns but they have to face the reality when start governing. But any how both NPP and SJB has indicated that they will deal with IMF and it is a good sign.

    Aquarius Saturday, 27 January 2024 12:47 PM

    Of course you cannot walk away as you keep borrowing and owe them millions. Money lenders never let you off.

    Jayantha Saturday, 27 January 2024 12:52 PM

    Lol. Dont lie mate. Imf plans were abondoned many times in past. Imf is a rogue organization that comes to protect cunning politicians not people of a country. They never force government to cut down politicians and top officials expenses. Nothing. For example no action taken yet to remove free fuel quota of politicians. No action taken to scrap pension scheme for politicians but tax the poor is the theme of imf rogues.

    True Lankan Saturday, 27 January 2024 01:09 PM

    But we can walk away from you, it is a matter of choice :)

    Vernon Saturday, 27 January 2024 01:16 PM

    Depending on IMF may be the only option now available. But what have you done to change the system which brought our country to this situation? And also to punish and those responsible for the collapse, and to recover most of what had been plundered. Even as President you have failed to bring your friend AM from Singapore, with whom the stooges of your party played out the CB. Everyday COPE and COPA highlights misdeeds, over expenditure etc. But what has the parliament done to the findings and recommendations of the COPE and COPA, and to recover from those responsible etc.

    RuwanL Saturday, 27 January 2024 01:39 PM

    Ranil is very shrewd and intends to confuse us! No party has said they intend to walk away from the IMF but said they will negotiate for a better deal! We have to remember that IMF is giving us loans and we have to pay it back! With the current trend of our expenditure being more than income this too is a major issue as the political parties have to come up with a plan as to how we in increase our income! Increasing tax is not the answer!

    Nincompoop Ranil Saturday, 27 January 2024 02:13 PM

    Ranil we the people cannot dismiss the fact that you are a loser. You have been losing from the day you were born. So let capable people deal with the economy and just fade away into oblivion.

    Ranil the protector of criminals Saturday, 27 January 2024 02:18 PM

    It's all just fancy words and no real action from the loan ranger. First recuperate stolen assets from the criminal Rajapaksas. Oh but you can't because you are in power because of them and you owe it to them to obstruct any attempt at recovery.

    Ranil the forked tongue Saturday, 27 January 2024 02:20 PM

    How about returning the money you defrauded the country from the central bank scam? That would be a good start.

    dana Saturday, 27 January 2024 02:54 PM

    It’s ridiculous! If people cannot renegotiate with IMF,this president is not appointed by public,current parliament is not following it’s manifesto, IMF made discussions secretly,IMF is not treating public fairly, Why, it pressuring government to grab more from public while ignoring,it’s power to force government to collecting robbed money of central bank or rajapaksha loot of national wealth or bad debts of politicians which all accumulate to billions of rupees, asa result public believe it can demand IMF to renegotiate , RW cannot but people can

    SLEx Saturday, 27 January 2024 02:54 PM

    All the people saying he has taken you into a trap, its actually yourselves who have put the country in a situation where you trapped yourselves. I guess you want to go back to fuel queues and power cuts. Consuming more than you can afford at the governments expense is the only reason we are where we are. Stop being lazy and work to afford the life you want to live instead of expecting the state to fund your lifestyle with subsidies.

    Jagath Ekanaya Saturday, 27 January 2024 03:56 PM

    The president is making excuses for his own inactions. The president has crab walked away from the fundamental IMF premise that corruption would be dealt with.

    Ravi Wickramaratna Saturday, 27 January 2024 04:40 PM

    At least there is one man who talks sense, keep up the good work Wickrama. The others are all free loaders who now thinks the JVP will give them free lunches. All these past years the current account deficit was bridged by either printing money or by foreign borrowings. No one talks about hard work, productivity. That is the only way the country will come out of the mess. It could be a bridge too far!!

    Mahila Monday, 29 January 2024 07:11 AM

    All have, Polypropylene sacks on the READY, PREORDERED AND ACCEPTED DELIVERY, in anticipation of the "free fall" of Rupees against Dollar, which has been stalled by strict measures now in existence, at present, which would become USD 1.00 = Rs 10,000, which bags would be needed to go and buy loaf of bread and Vegetables!!! No, you are mistaken, not to carry the bread and vegetables, but the Currency notes (SL Rs) See what Indonesian Rupee is = USD??? !0,000 Rupiahs!!!??? Good Luck!! Or live in Uganda at the "Cafe Ceylon", at the pleasure of whom!!!???

    CitizenP Saturday, 27 January 2024 04:45 PM

    You set the mouse trap and you must clear it.

    Run baby run Saturday, 27 January 2024 05:48 PM

    They say "If you can't walk, then run"

    ROSH Saturday, 27 January 2024 06:52 PM

    Unelected master debating president now making statement about IMF. He is trying to scare general public about his activities in mile high club. He joins foreign leaders by turning his back. We need to master debate in front of the parliament before we build his statue without his trousers before election

    ROSH Saturday, 27 January 2024 07:21 PM

    Unelected master debating president always looking to extend in mile high club to stay in power. Please think carefully in next general election

    Walk away from UNP and SLPP Saturday, 27 January 2024 07:42 PM

    Next government can choose to do as it needs. Ranil trying to make all his stupid decisions like Indian credit line, and bad deal with IMF sound better than the horror it is.

    Mahila Monday, 29 January 2024 06:59 AM

    "Next government can choose to do as it needs" Can also Starve and Wait!!!??? HULANG!!??

    Natural Justice Saturday, 27 January 2024 09:24 PM

    The President does not have any mandate from the people, and he is not even elected by the people. Also, Sovereignty of the nation is superior to every authority including that of the Presidency Parliament and Judiciary. Hence the possibility of nullifying all agreements and laws enacted by the current regime by a legitimately elected government is very high.

    Patcitz Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:16 PM

    Mind it, but you can/must walk away from the Leadership you are holding with the support of the US PLOT.

    Patcitz Saturday, 27 January 2024 10:34 PM

    You are a MUTT, and you may be locked in with IMF (US) TRAP, if elected, a talented leader to lead the country, it will be so easy to get released the entangled Sr Lanka in the US (IMF) conspiracy.

    Vive James Sunday, 28 January 2024 09:23 AM

    Like 13, 13 plus you can't do . You are trapped for ever

    Sim Sunday, 28 January 2024 09:23 AM

    Did the masses gave him the authority? No, it's only 134 MP's. Any future government elected by the people are not responsible for the decisions taken by the present government

    Mahila Monday, 29 January 2024 06:55 AM

    “Did the MASSES GAVE HIM THE AUTHORITY? Any ‘FUTURE GOVERNMENT’ elected …… ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for the decisions ….. PRESENT GOVERNMENT ...” Did, masses give ANY AUTHORITY – “TO BORROW W/O Return on Investment (RoI) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – President usurped (Finance Minister) in ‘Cahoots’, for aggrandisement!!?? PROJECT COMPLETION, Sri Lanka, unable to Re-Pay Creditor/Financier!!?? Resort to, further Borrowing – w/o resorting to defaulting “ORIGINAL PREDATORY Creditor”, as a Consequence, enhanced borrowing (USD 11.5 Billion)!!?? Finally, declared Bankruptcy!?????? Resulting in STARVATION!!?? that Borrowing w/o EIA/RoI, WASN'T by authority obtained, MASSES at elections??? UNDOUBTEDLY, by 2/3 RD MAJORITY of Glorified elected, ‘Thana Kola Eaters’!? Especially FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS too, couldn’t be held responsible – DECISIONS, AGREEMENTS, AID, entered by PRESENT Governments, with FUTURE "Thana Kolayas"! Sirimavo’s encountered Dilemmas, 07/1960 – 03/1965!??

    Bernard Jayatilake Sunday, 28 January 2024 03:40 PM

    The conditions the IMF impose on the debtor countries should be amended to impose harsher measures against the perpetuators who plunged a country to bankruptcy necessisating for it to seek IMF loan, I.e. confiscating all the assets both incountry and abroad of the persons responsible before releasig the loan as a buffer.

    Mahila Monday, 29 January 2024 05:54 AM

    Bernard, With utmost Humility I wish to submit that is entirely a matter of the Sovereign People of Sri Lanka, their elected representatives, and Government officials!? If that outcome from them is unobtainable, then None in the world - UNO, IBRD, IMF, ADB, JAICA, USAID can help us in achieving what you have proposed!!!??? Those are internal Sovereign Matters of SL and Lankan Citizens!!! None can and should USURP that singular RIGHT!?

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