Sunday, 31 March 2024 14:32

IMF and China prepared a batting wicket for the President Featured

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Wide Angle

The election fever has gripped political parties, even before the first votes are cast in either presidential or general elections in six months. But we take a step back and focus how the economy performs at present and future zoom in to history of political parties, governance, and its impact on the country

China has pledged to continue to support Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring, in a joint statement issued as Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena wrapped up a five-day visit to the country.

China would support Sri Lanka’s negotiations with Chinese creditors, it said in the statement released on Friday, though it did not give further details.

Beijing was willing to “continue supporting its financial institutions to actively negotiate with Sri Lanka, maintain friendly communication with other creditors, and play a positive role in the International Monetary Fund to assist Sri Lanka in financial relief”, the statement said

Sri Lanka is seeking a loan repayment moratorium for its US$ 12 billion bilateral debtors until 2028 during the ongoing talks with bond holder debt restructure in London which began this week as the country still grapples to emerge from the economic crisis, finance ministry sources divulged.

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A steering committee a group of bondholders are expected to reach an agreement or signed a memorandum of understanding considering a proposal from the government to rework the overseas debt which has been in default since 2022,

The government is asking lenders to accept a plan to defer payments for five years and then pay down the debts from the beginning of 2028 through 2042. a high official of the ministry said

China has expressed willingness to continue supporting its financial institutions to actively negotiate with Sri Lanka, maintain close communication with other creditors, in the International Monetary Fund, assist Sri Lanka in financial relief, China’s foreign ministry said in a joint bilateral statement released Friday,.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed Cabinet and the Election Commission that there is no chance of holding any election until the economic reforms programme that is being carried out with the International Monetary Fund is concluded.

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The President has said that the economic reform process done together with the IMF was crucial for the country to progress economically, and therefore, priority should be given to the IMF programme.

The President has also said since the IMF programme is in effect until the end of July, no election will be held till such time.

The presidential election will not be a hindrance to the IMF programme as the time for holding the presidential election comes constitutionally after the process of the IMF programme, the President has stated while insisting the Government has planned the election map accordingly

Extreme Close Up and High Angle · Low Angle shots cover this week’s political developments analyzing it in a break down whether good economics is good politics and how a subversive party wearing humanitarian mask and its leader a wolf in sheep clothing is going to fool people with short memories.

Don't survey the political scene with your eyes only: Look through the analytical mind and start close-up, really close-up, and work your way back to identify wolf in sheep clothing,

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.It now seems likely that there would be three presidential candidates – Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Sajith Premadasa, and Ranil Wickremesinghe..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake is the only openly committed candidate so far. Sajith Premadasa, although the presumptive candidate of the SJB, often sends mixed signals saying that he/they are ready for either election.

Ranil Wickremesinghe might be in reluctance and hoping to be sponsored by a grand alliance, but the real pressure on him will come from the SLPP and the Rajapaksas.

Ranil’s calculation will be about the vote catchment that the Rajapaksa’ plan can muster. In any event, they would bring him more votes than he or the current UNP could ever garner.

The question is if that would be enough in a three way contest to go over the 50% mark in the first count. The question applies to all three candidates, and deadlock is a possibility.

In a move of attracting Tamil votes, the Tamil United Freedom Front, the political party led by one time LTTE commander turned politician Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, decided to support President Ranil Wickremesinghe if he contests the presidential election.

According to founder and its political strategist Basil Rajapaksa’s plan revealed in a meeting this week the top priority is to field a candidate for the presidential election., Basil clearly stated that Ranil is a loser.

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Accordingly, Basil said that while saying that he supports Ranil, Pohottuwa will also have to start the election campaign with a defeat.

Basil for the first time said, that by presenting a new candidate to the presidential election, Pohottuwa not only has the opportunity to win second place but also has the opportunity to move forward. Dhammika Perera or Namal Rajapaksa is the presidential candidate in Pohottuwa.

The executive council of Pohottuwa met to give Namal a high position in the party, just as Basil hinted. It was chaired by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The main event that happened in the Executive Council was Namal Rajapaksa being given the post of National Organizer of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna

Sajith Premadasa, the leader of the opposition, decided the signing date of the grand alliance of the opposition which will be built in such a way as to be able to win any election on 05th.

On that day, Sajith will make all the plans to form the largest alliance created by an opposition party with all the parties, organizations and members of parliament who joined the opposition from the government on that day.

The economy at present is a strong wicket to bat on for Ranil and his UNP or to their coalition partner SLPP. Opposition parties are to be bowled t out on that wicket, as the opposition parties including NPP have no alternative route other than surrendering to IMF.

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? So far there is no evidence to show they have one. This is why the next election if it were to be dominated by economic issues would be a contest between NPP’s system change with a market model cleansed of its rigidities and the IMF path embraced by its opponents

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