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IMF’s Georgieva to press for quicker action on debt relief with China

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International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday that she will travel to Beijing next week with heads of other international institutions to press for quicker action on debt relief for poor and developing countries.

The meetings with the country’s leadership will focus on China’s economic, COVID-19 and debt relief policies and will include officials from China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China, the IMF said.

“This is the first time, hopefully, we will be able to sit together and discuss the very pressing issues that China, and the world are faced with,” Georgieva told the Reuters NEXT conference.

Georgieva said that during the Beijing meetings she intends to discuss ways to accelerate China’s participation in debt relief for poor and developing countries as the world’s largest official bilateral creditor.

“I am very hopeful that when we have a chance next week to discuss these issues, we will continue on a path of finding better solutions and strengthening the capacity of the common framework to deliver,” she said, referring to G20 countries’ slow-to-launch common debt restructuring framework.

World Bank President David Malpass told the conference that he would join the discussions in Beijing, along with officials from the World Trade Organization, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and others.

Georgieva and Malpass have both called for reforms of the common framework to offer heavily indebted countries a freeze in debt service payments when they apply for debt relief and clearer timelines for reaching agreement on debt treatments.

Asked if China’s slowing growth would limit its appetite for agreeing to debt reductions, Georgieva said she hoped that China would act out of “enlightened self-interest” and strive to prevent debt issues in developing countries from deepening and spilling over to a global debt crisis. Such a crisis would inflict pain on borrowing countries, but would also negatively affect creditor countries, especially China, she said.

China’s COVID-19 restrictions and turmoil in its vast property sector have brought China’s projected growth rate back to 3.2% for next year — barely above global averages and a phenomenon not seen during the past 40 years, she said.

“We have relied on China for a significant increase in global growth,” Georgieva said. “Some 35% to 40% of global growth used to come from China’s growth and this is not the case now, and it’s not going to be the case next year.”

(Reuters)

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Arthur C. Clarke Centre announces satellite launch for next year

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The Arthur C. Clarke Centre has announced plans to launch a satellite next year. 

Professor Chandana Jayaratne, Director of the Astronomy and Space Science Unit at Colombo University’s Physics Department and Chairman of the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies, emphasized the need for further infrastructure development to educate schoolchildren on satellite technology.

He made these remarks during a program focused on teaching students about satellite technology.

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Suspect in burglary of Sachithra Senanayake’s house arrested

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Police have apprehended a suspect involved in the burglary of former Sri Lankan cricketer Sachithra Senanayake’s house in the Kalalgoda area of Thalangama. 

The burglary occurred on the night of June 22, 2024.

The suspect, a 34-year-old resident of Thalangama, was identified through CCTV footage. 

Police recovered the stolen items, including a laptop, two tablet PCs, five expensive watches, four valuable bracelets, two rings, and Rs 10,000 in cash, from the suspect’s house. 

The motorcycle used in the theft has also been seized.

The suspect, who has a history of criminal activity and was recently released on bail after serving time for multiple burglaries in Kottawa, Thalangama, and Maharagama, will be produced before Homagama Court. 

Kottawa Police are conducting further investigations.

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MP Dylan Perera’s vehicle involved in highway accident

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MP Dylan Perera’s vehicle was involved in an accident near the Galanigama interchange on the Southern Expressway. 

The former minister was not injured, but another passenger in the car sustained injuries.

Kalutara-South Police and Highway Police are conducting further investigations into the incident.

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