COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s newly-appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday held discussions with representatives of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank on the current economic crisis in the country, as India delivered the 12th shipment of diesel containing over 400,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of fuel to the island nation which is facing its worst economic crisis.
“12 shipments and more than 400,000 MT of fuel!! Latest consignment of #Diesel from #India under the credit line for fuel was delivered in #Colombo by Torm Helvig today,” the Indian High Commission here tweeted.
Sri Lanka is going through the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. A crippling shortage of foreign reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas and other essentials while power cuts and soaring food prices heaped misery on the people.
The economic crisis also triggered a political crisis in Sri Lanka and a demand for the resignation of the powerful Rajapaksas.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa sacked his Cabinet and appointed a younger Cabinet as a response to the demand for his resignation. A continuous protest opposite his secretariat has now gone on for well over a month.
Wickremesinghe, the 73-year-old United National Party (UNP) leader, was appointed as Sri Lanka’s 26th prime minister on Thursday as the country was without a government since Monday when Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned after violence erupted following an attack on the anti-government protesters by his supporters.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said he held discussions with representatives of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank on the current economic crisis in the country, and the discussions focused on support for drug, food and fertiliser supply issues.
In a statement, the Prime Minister said that discussions have also been held with foreign representatives regarding the establishment of a foreign consortium for financial assistance to coincide with the meeting of the two international financial institutions.
Emphasising that the talks have been positive, the Prime Minister said that the immediate challenge for the Government is to obtain the funds required to pay for the fuel requirements for the coming week. —Agencies