COLOMBO: US Ambassador to Sri Lanka has congratulated the newly-appointed Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe and hoped that an inclusive government would be formed quickly to address the economic crisis and promote stability in the island nation.
Wickremesinghe, 73, was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s 26th prime minister on Thursday to stabilise the country’s debt-ridden economy and end the political turmoil.
The United National Party (UNP) leader took over as the prime minister as the country was without a government since Monday when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s elder brother and prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned after violence erupted following an attack on the anti-government protesters by his supporters.
US Ambassador Julie Chung congratulated the newly-appointed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on Thursday.
“Look forward to working w/ @RW_UNP. His appointment as PM, and the quick formation of an inclusive government, are first steps to addressing the crisis & promoting stability,” she tweeted.
“We encourage meaningful progress at the IMF & long-term solutions that meet the needs of all Sri Lankans,” the tweet further added.
Look forward to working w/ @RW_UNP. His appointment as PM, and the quick formation of an inclusive government, are first steps to addressing the crisis & promoting stability. We encourage meaningful progress at the IMF & long-term solutions that meet the needs of all Sri Lankans.
— Ambassador Julie Chung (@USAmbSL) May 12, 2022
On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund said that it is following developments in Sri Lanka closely and is concerned about rising social tensions and violence. In the month of April, the two sides convened their first round of talks at the IMF headquarters in Washington.
Sri Lanka is hoping for a Rapid Finance Instrument (RFI) facility as well as a larger Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from the international financial body to help it deal with its foreign currency shortages, which have triggered an economic crisis. In the last meeting, the IMF assured to help the country with an amount of USD 300 million to USD 600 million.
According to the IMF, the island nation will receive the said amount from the World Bank over the course of the next four months. Sri Lanka has been grappling with an unprecedented economic turmoil since its independence from Britain in 1948. Sri Lanka is currently facing the worst economic crisis and political instability ever after Independence due to manifold reasons both short and long-term.