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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* PM begins discussions to establish a foreign consortium for financial assistance
Fri, May 13, 2022, 09:33 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 13, Colombo: The new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe has already begun work to find a solution to the current crisis in the country.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has initiated discussions on the establishment of a foreign consortium for financial assistance. The Ambassadors of Japan, the USA, China, and the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka met with the Premier today, the Prime Minister's Office said.

The Premier has held discussions with the diplomatic representatives of countries such as China, Russia, Japan and the United States in the last few days and discussed at length about the assistance they could provide to Sri Lanka not as loans but as grants. The new Prime Minister has also discussed obtaining fuel and gas at reduced cost.

The High Commissioner of India called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today at the Prime Minister’s Office and conveyed greetings and good wishes.

The Premier and the envoy discussed continued cooperation for economic recovery and stability in Sri Lanka through democratic processes towards the wellbeing of all the people of Sri Lanka, the High Commission said.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also held discussions with the Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Hideaki Mizukoshi on obtaining immediate assistance.

Meanwhile, it is reported that the Government of India has agreed to supply all urea required for paddy cultivation in the Yala season to Sri Lanka immediately under the existing loan facility.

Accordingly, the Government of India has agreed to supply 65,000 metric tons of urea for paddy cultivation during the Yala season.

It is also reported that the United States has taken steps to send a ship carrying emergency medicines to Sri Lanka.

Full Statement from the Prime Minister’s Office:

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assumed duties this morning at The Prime Minister’s Office. Addressing the staff, the Prime Minister stated that his sole purpose as Premier was to ensure the recovery of the country’s economy.

The Prime Minister held preliminary talks with foreign envoys representing India (His Excellency Gopal Bagley) Japan (His Excellency Mizukoshi Hideaki), United States of America (Her Excellency Julie J. Chung), and China (His Excellency Yi Xianliang).

Discussions with the Indian High Commissioner focused on the measures being taken for economic recovery, while the High Commissioner promised to continue to assist Sri Lanka.

The Japanese envoy also pledged their continued support towards the stabilization of Sri Lanka’s economy. The Japanese Ambassador is to visit Tokyo tomorrow.

Both envoys discussed the measures being taken to gather support from other foreign nations to help Sri Lanka’s economy.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe discussed the upcoming visit of the U.S treasury team with the U.S. Ambassador. The meeting also broached the subject of the 19th Amendment and the strengthening of the oversight committees in Parliament.

The Chinese Ambassador, when meeting Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, expressed his country’s willingness to continue to support Sri Lanka while also pledging to review existing assistance provided to the country.

The Prime Minister also spoke to the British High Commissioner (Her Excellency Sarah Hulton) prior to her departure back to the U.K. She was scheduled to brief the British Government on the situation in Sri Lanka.

Separately an emergency meeting was held with the attendance of former Ministers Kanchana Wijesekara and Susil Premajayantha along with Sagala Ratnayake and senior officials from the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Discussions focused on the prevailing energy crisis in the country and the measures that can be taken to ease the burden on the public.


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