In his statement, the MP makes two claims; 1) that the agreement signed with the IMF does not impose a condition on the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to restructure domestic debt, 2) that it is instead the foreign bondholders that have imposed a condition saying that domestic debt should also be restructured similar to foreign debt.
To check these claims, FactCheck.lk assessed the Letter of Intent (LOI) of the Board Level Agreement with the IMF and the Public Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) featured in the IMF Staff Report dated 06 March 2023, and Cabinet Memorandum No. MF/TO/006/CM/2023/154 dated 28 June 2023.
Claim 1: There is no definitive commitment made by the government or IMF conditionality requiring GoSL to carry out Domestic Debt Restructuring (DDR) in the LOI with the IMF. The only mention of DDR in the LOI is that the government intends to “explore options for a domestic debt operation” and to announce details about it before end-April 2023. The DSA also includes illustrative scenarios, some of which involve DDR. However, these scenarios suggest that DDR is presented as an option, rather than a condition in setting out an economic recovery plan. See FactCheck.lk’s website for Additional Note 1 for further insight on this.
Claim 2: The MP’s second claim is supported by the Cabinet Memorandum dated 28 June 2023. It states that DDR “is also a stated precondition for the restructuring of FLFC [Foreign Law Foreign Currency] debt owed to members of the ad-hoc committee of holders of Sri Lanka’s International Sovereign Bonds.”
Despite concerns about the credibility of representation made in the cabinet memorandum (see FactCheck.lk’s website for Additional note 2), because the claims made by the MP are based on declarations of the government in that memorandum and the government’s LOI to the IMF, we classify his statement as TRUE.
*FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.
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