Foreign debt re- structuring process in big crisis
Another ‘ aragalaya’ to start from Monday this time from lawyers
AkD in presidential candidate crisis
Inside game to stop opposition leader’s voice inside the parliament..
A team is coming
The month of September will be critical for Sri Lanka. This is because an International Monetary Fund special team is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in September to assess the country’s situation. The Monetary Fund’s first review meeting will begin on September 14 and will last until September 27. This review will look at how Sri Lanka has complied with the IMF so far. The second installment of US $338 million will be released after determining how many conditions have been met, according to the agreement. But the question is whether Sri Lanka has met all of the requirements within this time frame.
Another special US representative arrived in Sri Lanka last week, prior to the arrival of the IMF team. Chris Van Hollen is a senator from the United States. Chris, who was elected to the US Senate by the Democratic Party to represent the state of Maryland, is a strong advocate for human rights and has a close relationship with the Tamil diaspora. During the previous war, Chris was someone who voiced strong opinions about alleged human rights violations and other incidents in Sri Lanka. It is also significant that Chris’s views are held in high regard by the Biden administration, which represents the Democratic Party and is currently in power in the United States.
Why did Chris show up?
Nobody knows that Chris Van Hollen lived in Sri Lanka for a while. Chris’s father, Christopher Van Hollen, had previously served as the American ambassador to Sri Lanka. Christopher Van Hollen, a well-known diplomat, was the American ambassador to Sri Lanka during Mrs. Sirimavo’s administration from 1972 to 1977, and his son Chris Van Hollen was a student at Guruthalawa St. Thomas College at the time. Chris later studied in India. Chris Van Hollen, who studied in Sri Lanka, visited the country last week.
Although the Sri Lankan media did not give Chris’ visit much coverage, the information we have indicates that Chris Van Hollen came to Sri Lanka with a special message from the Biden administration. A statement issued prior to Chris’s arrival in Sri Lanka confirmed this. Chris first visited the Maldives before coming to Sri Lanka. Chris informed the Maldivian government that whoever wins the next election will not be a problem for the US government, but the election should be very peaceful and fair.
Chris had taken steps to inform the Maldivian government that the United States would not be taking sides in the election. Also, prior to his visit to Sri Lanka, Chris stated in a statement using diplomatic language that the Sri Lankan government should work to protect the human rights of the Sri Lankan people and to provide their democratic rights fully and fairly. Chris implied without saying that the government should take steps to hold the indefinitely postponed election. Chris went to Kandy and met the President before the Randoli Perahera began, many hours after the announcement was made.
Is it time for the next installment?
Following Chris, a delegation from the Monitory Fund will visit Sri Lanka in the coming days to conduct a thorough investigation into the provision of the Monitory Fund’s second installment to Sri Lanka and the conditions that Sri Lanka has met thus far. Last March, the Monitory Fund made the first payment to Sri Lanka. The Monitory Fund had also issued an agreement containing a number of conditions that Sri Lanka must meet. At the time, the Sri Lankan government celebrated the first instalment received from the financial fund in grand style, lighting firecrackers across the country.
Furthermore, top government officials told the country that with the first instalment of the monitory fund, Sri Lanka will receive a large sum of money from foreign countries and international organisations. He predicted that Sri Lanka would recover quickly from its currency crisis. Despite what the government said, we predicted at the time that countries would not rush to help Sri Lanka as soon as the first instalment of the monitory fund was received, and that Sri Lanka would face a long and difficult journey. Confirming what we said, although the financial fund received assistance, Sri Lanka did not receive international assistance as the government believed.
With the exception of China
However, in order to receive the second tranche of the financial fund, worth $338 million, Sri Lanka had to first restructure its foreign debt. However, it is a unique circumstance that the government has yet to complete the foreign debt restructuring. The Verity Research Institute, which investigates the fulfilment of the financial fund’s conditions, made a special disclosure last week and stated that the government has still fulfilled only 38% of the financial fund’s conditions that should be fulfilled at this time. If so, where is the government now in terms of foreign debt restructuring?
The government had hoped to complete the foreign debt restructuring by October. During the first phase, India, Japan, and the Paris Club gave their approval and stated that they would support debt restructuring. However, China stated at the time that it did not agree to come to that common platform and carry out the debt restructuring, and that it was prepared to deal with it separately. However, in response to China’s response, the Paris Club, India, and Japan announced that all countries with credit to Sri Lanka should work from the same platform and enter into the same agreement; otherwise, the agreement with China should be announced first.
Following that announcement, the Paris Club, India, China, and Japan have maintained a strict silence on debt restructuring. As a result, there is considerable uncertainty about whether the foreign debt restructuring activities will be completed by next October, as the government anticipates. It is a sad fact that the Sri Lankan media has said nothing about this, and no one in the opposition who claims to be economic experts has informed the people about it.
Apart from that, while India has been supportive of Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring process since its inception, it is noteworthy that they have remained largely silent in this regard. The reason for this is largely due to recent foreign policy decisions made by Sri Lanka and China. Despite India’s opposition, Sri Lanka has now allowed a Chinese defence ship to enter the country, and the President is scheduled to visit China in October.
As a result, India concludes that the president has decided to take a pro-Chinese stance similar to that of the Rajapaksas rather than that of the neighbouring country, India. As a result, many believe that India will respond to the current government in the same way that it did to the previous government of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, which pursued a pro-China policy.
On the other hand, the Paris Club, India, and Japan have repeatedly requested that the government provide the method (formula) for restructuring Sri Lanka’s foreign debt, but the government has yet to do so. Some argue that if the government had worked to establish this system, Sri Lanka would already have a plethora of investment opportunities. However, because such a programme has not yet been launched, many people with knowledge of international politics believe that the government will be unable to complete debt restructuring activities in October.
On the way to Hambantota by ship
On the other hand, the Chinese ship issue is now indicating that it is not only a problem between Sri Lanka and India, but also an international one. Due to the crisis, various parties have attempted in recent days to prevent this ship from entering the Hambantota port, which is 100% owned by China, and limit it to the eastern terminal of the Colombo port. However, according to the information we have, a problem has arisen in bringing the ship to the Colombo Port because the Nara Institute and other organisations have already granted permission for the ship to enter the Hambantota Port.
Many people have questioned why the current government is working to create such problems again and again when there have been numerous recent examples of breaking governments by doing business with China in this manner. Many people believe that the President made this decision because he expects to receive significant relief from China during his visit to China in October. However, if Sri Lanka is unable to successfully complete the debt restructuring in October due to these issues, the International Monetary Fund may not withdraw from its agreement and postpone the second installment to Sri Lanka.
If the financial fund decides to postpone the second instalment to Sri Lanka, the economy will be severely harmed. Because the goal will send a message to the rest of the world that Sri Lanka cannot succeed in these endeavours.
China’s Port City?
Furthermore, prior to his visit to China, the President last week directed Mr. Dinesh Weerakkodi, who is in charge of Port City, to begin discussions with Chinese investors. Through this, the president hopes to give China a larger share of the port’s development and to receive a significant boost to Sri Lanka’s economy from China. In the midst of all of this, China recently dispatched a special team to Sri Lanka to conduct an investigation into the current political situation.
Although China usually receives reports about the current situation in Sri Lanka through the Chinese Embassy, the Chinese government has hoped to know the real situation regarding the possible political changes in Sri Lanka in the future and what situation may arise in Sri Lanka by sending this special research team to Sri Lanka. It has also been learned that China is going to pay more attention to the report provided by this special investigation team when making decisions regarding Sri Lanka.
A powerful Indian
While this type of transaction is taking place between China and Sri Lanka, an important guest of the Indian government is also scheduled to visit the country in the coming days. It is none other than Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the Government of India’s third highest representative. Rajnath is regarded as the most powerful figure in the government following Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. In addition, this is the first time in recent memory that an Indian Defence Minister has visited Sri Lanka.
Another notable event is that Mr. Rajnath Singh’s visit to Sri Lanka coincides with the emergence of a serious crisis between China and India, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a special statement regarding Sri Lanka’s Kachchathiv Island. In addition to Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin stated publicly last week that Kachchathivu Island should be taken over by India immediately. Furthermore, Tamil leaders in the north have sent letters to the Indian Prime Minister in the past, urging India to exert strong pressure on the Sri Lankan government to hold elections for the North East Provincial Council.
Many people familiar with Indian politics, however, believe Rajnath visits Sri Lanka and says, “Hello, how are you?” ”How should we proceed?” In addition, some media reports stated that Rajnath, who is visiting Sri Lanka, intends to visit Trincomalee. According to some media reports, the government had also asked Rajnath not to visit Trincomalee. However, according to reports, Rajnath is not visiting Sri Lanka to see Trincomalee or to see what the government will give to India from Trincomalee, but rather to deliver a serious political message to the government regarding the North-Eastern areas.
Otherwise, provincial council elections in the northern and eastern provinces should be held immediately. Aside from that, unofficial sources say that the Indian Defence Minister will send a strong message to the government about the Chinese ship that is said to have been allowed to enter Sri Lanka.
Visit notice differed !
To coincide with the Indian defence ministers visit to Sri Lanka INS Delhi Indian Navy’s first indigenously designed and built guided missile destroyer, which is equipped with latest weapons and sensors that are capable of undertaking all facets of maritime operation on surface, air and underwater domain anchored in Colombo deep port today (1) Despite the Indian High commissioner’s office in Colombo issuing a communiqué in the early evening confirming the defence minister’s arrival it is highly debatable why within hours of that official communication the deferring of the visit notice issued by the defence ministry in New Delhi?
What drew Dullas to JVP?
We took steps on several occasions to report through the ‘Inside Politics’ column about discussions that had begun between political parties to form various political alliances and fronts aimed at the presidential election. There were many rounds of negotiations between the opposition political parties, led by SJB as the opposition’s broadest political alliance, and they have now reached the final stage. We specifically revealed that negotiations between SJB and the Dullas team are nearing completion.
However, even with such a backdrop, the Dullas team abruptly decided to launch a separate round of negotiations with the opposition’s other parties. As a result, Dullas first met and discussed with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Wimal, Gammanpila Party, and the Communist Party, where he told the media that he began negotiations to work on a common policy. Dullas also took steps last week to hold a round of talks with the JVP.
Although the topic of developing a common policy was mentioned outside, these discussions served another purpose. That is because rumour has it that Mr. Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the JVP will not run in the upcoming presidential election. It was also stated that if Anura loses in this presidential election, the JVP will suffer in the next general election, so Anura may not run and instead support a common candidate. Find out if there is a chance.
However, forming an alliance with SJB and other opposition parties is likely to be a major problem for JVP as well, so JVP’s strategy was to disrupt the alliance by holding the discussion requested by Dullas.
JVP heavily criticised.
However, the issue arose following the start of a massive social media attack against theJVP. JVP, in general, strongly conducts its communication and advertising activities through social media. As a result, after JVP held talks with political figures such as Dullas, Dilan, and Charita Herath, JVP was chastised on social media for holding talks to obtain future ministers and government positions in as they did with every previous government.
This attack was so severe that JVP, which is doing its propaganda projects loudly on social media, could not withstand it. Accordingly, it did not take long for them to realize that negotiating with Dullas had adversely affected the party. Accordingly, although JVP campaigned through social media networks that it would not form an alliance with Dullas in the first round, it was not known that it was successful or not.
However, last Monday, Anura Kumara came to the Hiru Tv program amidst such a background. At that time, the Anura-Dullas alliance and the fielding Dullas the common candidate had been heavily discussed on the social media networks, so the journalists had also taken steps to continuously question Anura about this. Anura was so shaken that he called an emergency executive council of the party on Sunday and said that he had nominated himself as the presidential candidate. Anura also said that it has been prepared to be published as an official announcement on Monday itself. But it is special that no such announcement has been issued by JVP till today.
On the other hand, when journalists including Chamuditha Samarawickrama questioned Anura about Dullas, Anura mockingly said that there is no alliance with Dullas. Anura said that the Dullas team asked him for time for negotiations, and therefore gave a discussion, smilingly saying that there will be no alliance with them.
In addition to Anura, Lalkantha also made a public statement last week regarding the JVP candidate and the Dullas team, where Lalkantha said that the JVP presidential candidate is Anura Kumara, and that various parties are coming for negotiations these days, we negotiate by knowing who the ‘animal’ is who is negotiating with them.
Meanwhile, another discussion of the alliance formed between SJB and other opposition parties was held last week. SJB representatives and other party representatives like Mano Ganesan, Rauf Hakeem, Digambaram were present. There, these three questioned the leaders of SJB that there is a rumour that talks have started to bring groups such as Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila who hold racist views into this alliance, and what is the truth and falsehood of it. There, the SJB leaders had clearly indicated to them that no racist or religious group would be included in this alliance, and no such discussions had been held with them.
Mahinda within a week
These days former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is living a rather relaxed life away from active politics. As such, Mahinda is not involved in the party’s work. Mahinda, who participated in the friendly meeting and even the cricket match in Pohottuwa held in Nuwara Eliya recently, also played cricket with the Pohottuwa MPs like a 18-year-old boy.
However, recently Mahinda stayed in a private hospital in Colombo for about a week and conducted a complete medical examination. Mahinda, who was discharged from the hospital last Tuesday, went straight to Carlton House in Tangalle. It was to participate in the ‘Poda Dharma’ preaching program held as usual at Carlton House on Wednesday.
Gota on a trip to Egypt
Meanwhile, a new piece of information regarding former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was also reported to the ‘Inside Politics ‘ column last week. That is, Gota is planning to visit Egypt within the next few weeks. After leaving the office of President, Gota had gone to Dubai and Myanmar for pleasure trips like this on two occasions. This time Goa’s destination is Egypt. The news is that Gota is also planning to join the ‘Nile Cruise’ trip along the Nile River, which is considered to be a great experience during his visit to Egypt.
Mr. Sajith Premadasa, the leader of the opposition, is not similar to the leaders of the opposition in Sri Lanka were so far, but he is known as the leader of the opposition in his own style, spending more time for the welfare of the people and solving the problems of the people. Although the former opposition leaders made deals with the government and took the privileges given by the government and led a luxurious life, the current opposition leader Sajith is not like that.
From the day Sajith assumed the post of opposition leader, buses, smart classrooms and computer labs were provided to schools across the island under the Sakwala programme. Medical equipment and medicines were provided to rural hospitals under the ‘husmak’ program. Moreover, while walking in the villages, he talked about the problems faced by various people and professionals in the parliament and to draw the attention of the government to them. They were solved. Under the Standing Orders 27/2 of the Parliament, he spoke about the issues facing the people of the country in his allotted time. It was based on Sajith’s questioning that the people of the country came to know that there is an article called 27/2.
This situation became so famous among the people that people representing various fields came to the opposition leader’s office daily and presented their problems to Sajith as a result. There was no class division, no party division. From top businessmen to farmers, engineers, farmers, fishermen, plantation workers and teachers also come to the opposition leader’s office and present their issues, and Sajith works to bring them to the attention of the government in the parliament. At the beginning, some people in the government laughed at this, but it was seen that Sajith received a lot of approval from the representatives of the respective fields due to his issues being discussed in the parliament.
However, this situation did not go down well with the government ministers. Because of this, last week, a group of Pohottuwa MPs went to the President and complained saying that Sajith was wasting time in the morning by saying useless things under Standing Orders 27/2 of the Parliament. The MPs of Pohottuwa also requested the President to take some action against it. Two government newspapers as well as another government-friendly newspapers report this the next day
Accordingly, when Sajith saw this news last Tuesday, he respond to it at the ceremony of donating a bus to the Reggie Ranatunga Vidyalaya in Minuwangoda, Gampaha. There, Sajith said that the program of discussing people’s issues in the parliament has become a headache for the government, and therefore the government is trying to stop people’s issues from being discussed. But Sajith said that no one can shut his mouth and that he will talk about people’s issues in the future and make the government pay attention to them.
Did it before
This is not the first time that the government has tried to silence Sajith. Earlier, when the IMF agreement was presented to the parliament and before it was passed, the government had tried to shut up Sajith’s mouth in the same way. On that day, when Sajith was sitting in the finance committee, the government members submitted a condition saying that even if Sajith sat in the finance committee, Sajith should not be allowed to comment on it. As the members of the opposition were opposed to it, the finance committee chairman Mr. Harsha de Silva had finally decided to hold a poll.
Due to the fact that the majority of the finance committee members are representatives of the ruling party, the government was able to silence Sajith by preventing him from questioning the financial fund agreement in the finance committee. But it is doubtful whether the government will be able to shut Sajith’s mouth in the parliament this time.
No one at the wedding
A few months ago, we made a special disclosure through this channel that a millionaire businessman and a well-known person related to politics in India, Prakash Nair, came to Sri Lanka and met the President, former President Gotabhaya Rapajaksha and all the members of the Rajapaksa family, as well as several dignitaries including top ministers. We mentioned that Prakash Nair came to invite all these people for his daughter’s wedding ceremony and that the wedding to be held at the luxurious Sheraton Hotel in Cochin, India. Also, we further pointed out that Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and many powerful ministers of the central government have been invited to the marriage.
However, last week this wedding ceremony was held at the Sheraton Hotel, but it was noticed that none of Ranil – Mahinda – Gota – Basil participated in it. In addition, the faces of Indian Prime Minister Modi or the powerful ministers of the government could not be seen there. Only Minister Jeevan Thondaman and a few other prominent businessmen had participated from Sri Lanka.
An issue to Chung
A few days ago, the American Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mrs. Julie Chung along with President Ranil Wickremesinghe seen giving water to the animals in the Yala national park which were without water due to drought were news published in the media. Accordingly, it was seen how many people had expressed their views against Chung on social media, thinking that the ambassador had gone to see the animals in the Yala park with the president. This comment went so badly that social media networks were flooded that day with comments from various people regarding Chung’s yala visit.
Accordingly, Chung took to her Twitter account to post a special message to explain what really happened during the trip. There, she had mentioned that she went to Yala to participate in the opening of the latest Hilton Hotel built in Yala area by Hilton Hotel chain, a huge American company. She had also mentioned that she had the opportunity to visit the Yala area with the President.