Sri Lanka crisis live updates | Acting President Wickremesinghe says IMF talks nearing conclusion

Girls display their arms painted with message “Ranil go home’ referring to Prime Minister and acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe at a protest site in Colombo, Sri Lanka. File

Girls display their arms painted with message “Ranil go home’ referring to Prime Minister and acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe at a protest site in Colombo, Sri Lanka. File | Photo Credit: AP

Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday urged the political parties to put aside their differences and form an all-party government which would allow the country to recover from the economic crisis as he assured the public that talks with the IMF were nearing conclusion.

Mr. Wickremesinghe renewed the country’s state of emergency Monday ahead of a parliamentary vote to pick a new head of state — a poll in which he is a leading candidate.

Ranil Wickremesinghe automatically became acting President when Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned last week after fleeing to Singapore.

In depth | Sri Lanka crisis

Police and the military have already stepped up security ahead of Wednesday’s vote to elect a President for the remainder of Mr. Rajapaksa’s term, which ends in November 2024.

Earlier on Sunday, Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on Sunday reduced the diesel and petrol retail prices, the first decrease after five hikes since February. The diesel and petrol retail prices have been reduced by Rupees 20 each. Both had been raised by Rs 50 and 60 at the end of May.

Mr. Wickremesinghe, a six-time former prime minister, is being backed for the President position by Mr. Rajapaksa’s party, which remains the largest in the legislature.

Editorial | Fleeing, quitting: On the decline and fall of Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The ex-president was forced to flee when tens of thousands of protesters stormed his official residence after months of demonstrations across the country demanding his resignation over the country’s economic crisis.

Read more

Here are the latest updates

Colombo

Wickremesinghe urges political parties to put aside their differences and form all-party govt

Sri Lanka’s Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday urged the political parties to put aside their differences and form an all-party government which would allow the country to recover from the economic crisis as he assured the public that talks with the IMF were nearing conclusion.

Mr. Wickremesinghe, who earlier in the day declared a state of emergency giving him broad powers ahead of the crucial presidential election on Wednesday, made the appeal in a special statement in which he said that when he took over as the Prime Minister on May 13, the economy had collapsed.

“Acting President Wickremesinghe called upon the political parties in the country to put aside their differences and not allow the country to suffer over differences over an individual. He urged them to come together and form an All-Party Government which would allow the country to recover from the economic crisis,” according to the statement issued by his office on his behalf. — PTI

Colombo

Wickremesinghe says IMF talks nearing conclusion

Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday that the country’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were nearing conclusion, and discussions with foreign countries for assistance were progressing.

In a statement issued by his office, Wickremesinghe said that his administration would engage with peaceful protesters who had legitimate concerns and work to find solutions. — Reuters

Colombo

Sri Lanka acting President Wickremesinghe declares emergency ahead of parliamentary vote

Sri Lanka’s acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency, according to a government notice released late on Sunday, as his administration seeks to quell social unrest and tackle an economic crisis gripping the island nation.

“It is expedient, so to do, in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community,” the notification stated.

Sri Lanka’s parliament met on Saturday to begin the process of electing a new President, and a shipment of fuel arrived to provide some relief to the crisis-hit nation.

Read more
Colombo

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka lowers fuel prices, first since February

Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on Sunday reduced the diesel and petrol retail prices, the first decrease after five hikes since February as the severe foreign exchange shortage hampered the import of fuel and other essentials in the country reeling under worst economic crisis in decades.

The new prices came into effect from 10.00 p.m. on Sunday.

The diesel and petrol retail prices have been reduced by Rupees 20 each. Both had been raised by Rs 50 and 60 at the end of May.

The Indian Oil Company’s local operation, the Lankan Indian Oil Company (LIOC), also said that they would effect the price reduction.

The state fuel entity is still unable to make supplies available. Since the end of June, their supplies had been limited to essential services while the LIOC served the individual customers. — PTI

Slave Island

Hunger pains on Slave Island as Sri Lanka’s food prices rocket

During the country’s worst-ever economic crisis, which has driven rampant inflation and spurred protests that last week brought down the president, Sri Lankans are buying less, eating less and working less.

“It’s very difficult to live, even a loaf of bread is expensive,” Milton Pereira told AFP outside his modest home in Slave Island, a poor enclave of the capital Colombo.

Triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s financial woes were exacerbated by government mismanagement, critics say.

Food inflation in Sri Lanka reached 80.1% in the year to June, according to official figures. — AFP

Colombo

Sri Lanka protest movement reaches 100 days

Sri Lanka’s protest movement reached its 100th day Sunday having forced one president from office and now turning its sights on his successor as the country’s economic crisis continues.

Demonstrators take part in a celebration as Sri Lanka’s protest movement reached its 100th day at the Galle face protest area near Presidential secretariat in Colombo, on July 17, 2022.

Demonstrators take part in a celebration as Sri Lanka’s protest movement reached its 100th day at the Galle face protest area near Presidential secretariat in Colombo, on July 17, 2022. | Photo Credit: AFP

Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his palace shortly before demonstrators invaded it last weekend and on Thursday resigned from the presidency.

His mismanagement is blamed for Sri Lanka’s financial turmoil, which has forced its 22 million people to endure shortages of food, fuel and medicines since late last year.

Read more


Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | Jul 25, 2022 6:03:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-crisis-live-updates-july-18-2022/article65653105.ece