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“China has already offered SL a debt extension”

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The Export-Import Bank of China has provided Sri Lanka with a debt extension, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday, noting that China is willing to negotiate a medium- and long-term debt disposal plan with the country in a friendly manner, and do its best to promote Sri Lanka’s debt sustainability.

The remarks come as Bloomberg reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is considering approving Sri Lanka’s bailout, even without the formal assurance of debt-restructuring support from China, citing people familiar with the discussions.

In response, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a press conference on Monday that China has already provided Sri Lanka with a letter supporting the sustainability of Sri Lanka’s debt, expressing its willingness to extend the debt due in 2022 and 2023.

During the period, Sri Lanka will not have to repay the loan principal and interest of the Export-Import Bank, helping Sri Lanka to ease short-term debt pressure, the official said.

“We are willing to use this window to negotiate a medium- and long-term debt disposal plan with Sri Lanka in a friendly manner, and do our best to promote Sri Lanka’s debt sustainability,” Wang said.

The IMF, World Bank and Group of 20 nations chair India separately held virtual discussions Friday on global sovereign debt ahead of the finance ministers and central bank governors’ meeting in Bangalore this week.

The roundtable included officials from countries that have requested debt treatments under the G20 framework – Ethiopia, Zambia and Ghana – as well as middle-income countries such as Sri Lanka, Suriname and Ecuador, which have faced their own debt problems, Reuters reported.

The roundtable comes amid growing frustration over the slow pace of discussions on debt relief for some nations. Rather than seeking a global resolution, some have tried to blame China.

Chinese observers have urged developed countries to take more responsibility in addressing the debt risks faced by some nations, rather than using China as an excuse to shirk blame.

They pointed out that there are many reasons why some countries become mired in debt – the US Fed’s interest rate hikes, the global energy and food crises and other issues, warning some in the West to share the responsibility and seek a more “fair and just” solution.

(Global Times)

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Term tests for Western province suspended

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The term tests for grade 10 and 11 in the Western province schools has been postponed after some of the question papers were shared on social media ahead of the examination.

A senior official said that the decision had been taken after complaints that several question papers had been leaked out before the examinations.

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Russian Naval Ship Varyag Visits Colombo

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The Russian Naval Ship Varyag has arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit. 

This 187m long Missile Cruiser, manned by a crew of 529, is led by Flag Officer Captain 1st Rank Velichko Anatoly Vasicievich, with Captain 2nd Rank Glushakov Roman Nikolaevich serving as the Commanding Officer.

During their stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is expected to participate in various programs organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, fostering camaraderie and exploring tourist attractions in the country. 

The official visit will conclude, and Varyag is set to depart from the island tomorrow.

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SL over 60s cricket team ranked 4th in the world

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The Sri Lanka Over-60s cricket team, led by Garry Gunasekara, achieved a commendable 4th place in the recently concluded Over-60s Cricket World Cup in Chennai. 

Twelve teams, including all major cricketing nations except Pakistan and Bangladesh, participated in the tournament.

In the group league stages, Sri Lanka secured victories against India, Wales, and the Rest of the World. 

They also tied with the West Indies and suffered their only defeat to Australia, finishing 2nd in the group. 

Sri Lanka faced England in the first semi-final, resulting in a loss, while New Zealand lost to Australia in the second semi-final. Australia went on to convincingly win the final against England.

In the third-place match, Sri Lanka faced New Zealand and narrowly lost by 20 runs, ultimately securing the 4th position in the Over-60s Cricket World Cup.

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