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President assures to release IMF analytical data to parliament

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In a proactive move towards transparency and collaboration, President Ranil Wickremesinghe convened a crucial party leader’s meeting at the Presidential Secretariat today to deliberate on the IMF proposals. The meeting saw the active participation of various stakeholders, including TNA Parliamentarian Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran, underscoring the government’s commitment to inclusive decision-making.

During the discussions, Secretary to the Treasury Mr. Mahinda Siriwardena provided insights into the ongoing negotiations with bilateral creditors, commercial creditors, and ISBs, with an optimistic outlook towards completing the process by the end of June this year.

Notably, Mr. Sumanthiran raised pertinent concerns regarding the lack of published technical assistance reports of the IMF which is an analysis as to why certain recommendations are made, which is a necessity for the publication of analytical data to inform parliamentary deliberations. President Wickremesinghe, acknowledging the importance of transparency, assured that the government would release the data to the TNA and Parliament, facilitating informed debate and decision-making.

Furthermore, Central Bank Governor highlighted the government’s efforts in adhering to the recommendations outlined in the governor’s diagnostic report, emphasizing the commitment to a structured roadmap for implementation. President Wickremesinghe affirmed the government’s willingness to make these technical assistance reports available to the members of parliament and invited Mr. Sumanthiran and other Opposition members to attend a meeting and engage with the IMF to further discuss the proposals.

In response, Mr. Sumanthiran expressed his readiness to participate constructively in the dialogue, pledging support for constructive measures while highlighting areas that warrant attention and rectification.

The initiative undertaken by President Wickremesinghe underscores the government’s proactive approach to fostering transparency, accountability, and bipartisan cooperation in navigating crucial economic decisions for the benefit of all citizens.

Present at the meeting with President Ranil Wickremesinghe were Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardane, Leader of the House Susil Premajayantha, State Ministers of Finance Shehan Semasinghe and Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, and Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwariwardena, representing the government. Representing the Opposition TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran attended the meeting.  

(President’s Media Division)

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Presidential Poll can be held with Acting IGP – Fmr. Election Chief

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Former Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said there is no obstacle to holding the Presidential Election with an Acting Inspector General of Police.

He said he believes the current IGP can hold the position he held before until the court hearing concludes.

He said he believes a suitable person should be appointed as Acting IGP tomorrow, adding that there may be no IGP until the hearing concludes, but the election can be held under an Acting IGP.

He added that there is no issue because if the country is governed under an appointed President, it is not a big deal to conduct the election under an Acting IGP.

(News1st) 

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Japan officially notifies SL to resume disbursement to Yen loan projects

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Following the completion of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) and Sri Lanka on 23 July and the expression of the willingness by the Government of Sri Lanka to swiftly conclude a bilateral agreement on debt restructuring, the Government of Japan has officially decided to resume disbursement to Yen Loan Projects, which had been suspended since the default of Sri Lanka in 2022.

On 24 July, the Government of Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office held a joint press conference to inaugurate this milestone decision at Ministry of Finance.

While congratulating the completion of the MOU on debt restructuring between Sri Lanka and the OCC, Ambassador MIZUKOSHI Hideaki highlighted the unprecedented initiative and outstanding contribution by the Government of Japan, as a co-chair of the OCC, in leading and concluding the public debt restructuring.

Ambassador Mizukoshi also commended Sri Lankan authorities for their ongoing efforts in implementing the comprehensive economic and social reforms essential to guide the country back to a sustainable path. He stated that all the suspended yen loan projects are crucial infrastructures that promote Sri Lanka’s economic growth and further reaffirmed Japan’s continuous and unwavering commitment to supporting Sri Lanka.

On behalf of Mr. Yamada Tetsuya, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office, Ms. Ide Yuri, Senior Representative, handed over the official letter on this decision to Mr. Mahinda Siriwardana, Secretary to the Treasury, which is addressed to President Wickremesinghe from Dr. Tanaka Akihiko, President of JICA.

Ms. Ide Yuri expressed her hope that the resumption of Yen loan projects will contribute to stabilizing the economy and society of Sri Lanka and help gain momentum toward long-term sustainable growth, thus paving the way for Sri Lanka to recover trust and confidence from the people and private businesses of both Sri Lanka and the world.

Secretary Siriwardana expressed his profound gratitude for this decision and sincere appreciation for Japan’s excellent initiative and long-term dedication in the debt restructuring.

It is hoped that the resumption of disbursement to Yen loan projects would further strengthen the bond between Japan and Sri Lanka, as well as help this island nation bring itself back on track for further economic development, serving as a hub in the Indian Ocean.

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Cabinet takes decision following SC order on IGP

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During a special Cabinet briefing today (July 24), it has been decided to announce its response to the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the Inspector General of Police (IGP) within the next two days after studying in depth the legal aspects of the matter.

The special cabinet meeting chaired by President Ranil Wickramasinghe was held this evening at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.

The Cabinet of Ministers had been of the opinion that since the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the IGP was received only this afternoon, adequate time is needed to conduct an in-depth study of the related legal issues.

Accordingly, it was unanimously decided that it would be most suitable to announce the response of the Cabinet in the next two days.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued an interim order preventing Deshabandu Tennakoon from performing duties and functioning in the position of the IGP.

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