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President attends investment, trade & tourism forum in China

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During the official four-day visit to China, President Ranil Wickremesinghe attended a prominent investment, trade and tourism forum with a strong focus on fostering future business opportunities. President Wickremesinghe extended a warm invitation to Chinese entrepreneurs, encouraging them to view Sri Lanka as a strategic hub for emerging green and digital economic ventures, highlighting the nation’s significant advancements in this domain.

This forum, hosted at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing yesterday (16), was graced by the presence of representatives from a multitude of Chinese companies, some of which have already invested in Sri Lanka, while others are exploring investment prospects. Distinguished Sri Lankan business leaders were also present, eager to explore collaborative opportunities.

Addressing the Chinese business community, President Wickremesinghe underscored Sri Lanka’s unique geographic advantage, positioning it as a gateway to Western markets within the broader Asian region. The President expressed the country’s strong desire to engage amicably with global economic powerhouses and reaffirmed his commitment to rebuilding Sri Lanka’s economy.

Notable government officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry, Minister of Transport and Mass Media Bandula Gunawardena, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, Governor of the Central Bank Dr.Nandalal Weerasinghe and Chairman of the Board of Investment Dinesh Weerakkodi, were also in attendance, addressing inquiries from the Chinese business community.

(President’s Media Division)

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Man arrested over selling overpriced Vadai to tourist

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The Tourist Police in Moragolla has arrested a man over selling an overpriced Vadai and tea to a foreign  tourist in Kalutara.

Footage of the incident had sparked public ire after going viral online.

It has been revealed that the suspect is a 60 year old residing in Kalutara and is usually seen loitering near the eatery.

Police say that investigtations have revealed that he had duped foreigners visiting the eatery many times.

He is to be produced before the Kalutara Magistrate Court tomorrow (April 19).

It is also reported that officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) and the Moragolla Tourist police have also arrived at the eatery, and sternly advised the owner after questioning him.

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NPP’s 7-point statement on Easter attacks, presented to the Cardinal

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The National People’s Power (NPP) today (April 18) presented to Archbishop of Colombo – Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, their 7-point statement pledging to mete out justice to the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks.

The statement included key points such as implementing law against those responsible for the attacks so as to mete out justice to those who lost lives in the attacks and family members of the victims and to take action against those who were directly or indirectly involved in the attacks.

NPP members Professor Krishantha Abeysinghe, Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala, President’s Counsel Upul Kumarapperuma, Rohan Fernando and Aruna Shantha Nonis participated in the occasion.

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IMF ready to support Sri Lanka’s discussions with bondholders

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stands ready to support Sri Lanka’s discussions with international bondholders and will provide a formal assessment after the parties reach a tentative agreement-in-principle, an IMF spokesperson said on Thursday.

“We hope an agreement consistent with the parameters of the IMF-supported program and official creditors’ Comparability of Treatment requirements can be reached soon, ahead of completing the second review under the program,” the spokesperson said.

Sri Lanka said it failed to reach an agreement with bondholders to restructure about $12 billion debt earlier this week, raising concerns there could be a delay in the island nation receiving a third tranche of its $2.9 billion IMF program in June.

The government said one of the main stumbling blocks had been that the “baseline parameters” of the bondholders’ plan had not matched those embedded in its IMF program.

“We encourage both parties to continue their discussions swiftly,” the IMF statement added.

Sri Lanka will consult with the IMF to assess if the latest proposals discussed with bondholders were within the parameters of its bailout program.
The island nation defaulted on its foreign debt in May 2022 and kicked off negotiations with bilateral creditors several months later, eventually securing an agreement in principle with China, India and the Paris Club last November.

Sri Lanka plunged into its worst financial crisis since independence from the British in 1948 after its foreign exchange reserves fell to record lows in early 2022, leaving it unable to pay for essentials including fuel, cooking gas, and medicine.

(Reuters) 

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