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BSS
  05 Jul 2022, 14:50

Sri Lanka admits bankruptcy, crisis to drag through 2023

COLOMBO, July 5, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Sri Lanka is bankrupt and the acute pain of
its unprecedented economic crisis will linger until at least the end of next
year, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament Tuesday.

The island nation's 22 million people have endured months of galloping
inflation and lengthy power cuts after the government ran out of foreign
currency to import vital goods.

Wickremesinghe said the once-prosperous country will go into deep recession
this year and acute shortages of food, fuel and medicine will continue.

"We will have to face difficulties in 2023 as well," the premier said. "This
is the truth. This is the reality."

He said Sri Lanka's ongoing bailout talks with the International Monetary
Fund depended on finalising a debt restructuring plan with creditors by
August.

"We are now participating in the negotiations as a bankrupt country,"
Wickremesinghe said.

"Due to the state of bankruptcy our country is in, we have to submit a plan
on our debt sustainability to them separately. Only when (the IMF) are
satisfied with that plan can we reach an agreement."

The IMF last week said more work was needed to set the nation's finances
right and repair its runaway fiscal deficit before a deal could be struck on
a funding arrangement to address its balance of payments crisis.

Sri Lanka is currently almost completely without petrol and the government
has shut down non-essential public services in an effort to conserve fuel.

The United Nations estimates that about 80 percent of the public are skipping
meals to cope with food shortages and record prices.

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