politics

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka to ask Japan to open talks with main creditors

26 Comments
By Uditha Jayasinghe and Waruna Cudah Nimal Karunatilake

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26 Comments
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"I think we are restructuring to make Sri Lanka a very competitive, export-oriented economy," he said.

You think?

Sri Lanka WAS a very competitive, export oriented economy, with a good domestic economic base too. You squandered it on a port that serves Chinese interest and competes with your existing port, AND you got into debt to do so at a time when responsible lenders elsewhere was warning you the country is too burdened by debt already.

Then you snuffed out your best export 'tea' with silly environmental rules.

China killed your country, but now you're asking Japan to fix it. Sigh.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Good time to buy up some Ceylon tea plantations on the cheap.

Sri Lanka ...terrible leadership and blatant economic negligence and corruption.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Wise move if they want to keep their sovereignty.

Japan can bail SL out with a long-term interest free loan IF they cle

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan can bail SL out with a long-term interest free loan IF they clean up their government. The only alternative is having the PRC take over ports, airports and infrastructure.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Sri Lanka allowed the Chinese to bribe their way into the corrupt ruling class, borrowed an awful lot of money from China by putting up its main port as collateral, while its economy tanked and people suffered. Now the island nation is begging for Japan’s help. Can you leave us alone?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

There is no difference between Wickremesinghe and a common beggar. The amount of money is just much larger.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

They should let china build a massive military base in return for cheap Russian oil re-exported via China. Fertilizer too.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

You go woke, you go broke. Sri Lanka went woke by buying the green policy in their agriculture that destroyed the entire sector. The same is true for the Netherlands, Canada, etc. The same green policy that destroyed the US energy. Go green! LOL

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Funny how most people here are in denial (or ignorant) that Sri Lanka's debt to Japan is the same as to China (each 10% of total debt). Over 40% of the debt is to western and Japanese companies. And that port - Canada was going for that before China went for it - Canada couldn't come up with the finance and so they had to give up - and yet nobody criticized Canada.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Sri Lanka's total bilateral debt was estimated at $6.2 billion ....with Japan and China holding the largest shares.

Doesn't that make Japan part of the problem rather than the solution? And why are countries building ports? The job should be up to private sector contractors based on open and competitive tenders.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Funny how most people here are in denial (or ignorant) that Sri Lanka's debt to Japan is the same as to China (each 10% of total debt). Over 40% of the debt is to western and Japanese companies

Not funny for Sri Lankans. The debt owed to responsible lenders (like Japan) was serviceable, and note the country leveraged its debt for economic gains.

The debt to China came after and on top of existing debts, and was not serviceable. China had to relax its own lending standards (which was very lax in the first place) to lend to Sri Lanka, and further it was for infrastructure Sri Lanka neither need nor could afford. It was pure 'economic' exploitation of people and corrupt rulers. It's the same pattern repeated all over the world. Where China go, chaos ensues. This is the problem.

The Colombo port was very lucrative and profitable and profits went into SL state revenue collections, and the Chinese didn't like paying so much for its use. The Chinese built, Chinese funded Hambantota port on the other hand is not profitable (evidently), but the debt has to be serviced by SL, whilst the benefit (cheaper port fees went to Chinese exporters. This is just pure exploitation of a corrupt government by China.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What nerve! They gave Japan and India the finger, when SRL allowed a chinese spy ship to dock. SRL got in bed with China and now they have Monkey pox. SRL had it coming

Exactly, if SL truly wants to 'fix' their finances, they'd start at home like Malaysia did in pursuing corrupt rulers, all the way to their bank balances, where ever it may be.

It's so brain damage to be hitting up Japan for help when at the same time China is allowed to berth their spy ship in SL's port. Brain damage was a trait of CCP spokespeople, but it seems the fad is spreading, especially to those 'close' to the CCP.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

COLOMBO

Sri Lanka will ask Japan to invite the Indian Ocean island's main creditor nations, including China and India, to talks on bilateral debt

Now Iy not be a Native English speaker but, if more than two sides then wouldn't that be "multilateral" talks?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Their "main" creditor to Sir Lanka is the open market borrowing at nearly 50% of their debt, Japan, China and India combined only consists of 22% of their total debt, without restructuring the open market debt, I don't see a way for them to "seek a way out" of this.

If the leader of this country had any brain and not to be so addicted on USD debt while lowering taxes just to be re-elected, then the people of this country wouldn't have to suffer like this.

Despite the political narrative around this, I think by end of the day it's their leader's own greed and stupidity to blame, having collateral on debt is completely normal, I mean why else would you lend to someone with high risk?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Are you sure that’s Sri Lanka’s president, or is it just Ghosn in disguise?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Antiquesaving

COLOMBO

Sri Lanka will ask Japan to invite the Indian Ocean island's main creditor nations, including China and India, to talks on bilateral debt

Now Iy not be a Native English speaker but, if more than two sides then wouldn't that be "multilateral" talks?

Neither me but the author is talking about the relation between creditor and debtor, so, yes, it's valid for the situation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Imagine the surprise after reading all Sri Lanka is a victim of Chinese debt blackmail to find out Sri Lanka's biggest creditors are Japan, Europe and North America. The usual suspects still bankrupting nations, plunging many millions in poverty and sending in the army when countries try to get out of that system. Damn Russians!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You owe money, you pay back, if you can't you declare bankruptcy and the creditors are entitled to claim your properties.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sri Lanka sold themselves to China. Now China will have three overseas ports to confront India for dominance over the Indian Ocean. And Sri Lanka s in the poor house.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sri Lanka sold themselves to China. Now China will have three overseas ports to confront India for dominance over the Indian Ocean. And Sri Lanka s in the poor house

Was that exactly the similar thing when United States expanding her hegemony in The Phillipines after winning the US-Spanish war in the first 40 years of the 20th century? Time has changed and "Get over it" !

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Who's paying for the fuel his jet will use to fly to Japan and back home?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

elephant200Today  04:19 pm JST

Sri Lanka sold themselves to China. Now China will have three overseas ports to confront India for dominance over the Indian Ocean. And Sri Lanka s in the poor house

Was that exactly the similar thing when United States expanding her hegemony in The Phillipines after winning the US-Spanish war in the first 40 years of the 20th century? Time has changed and "Get over it" !

Citing early 20th century history as justification for such behavior in the 21st is assinine. The days of empire building are long past. China can get over the 100 years of humiliation by just getting over it. And try to be a mature cooperative member of the international community.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A large part of the crisis could have been averted if the medium of trade involved Indian Rupees rather than the US dollar, because India is the easiest country for Sri Lankans to obtain food and medications from, and that currently is done in US dollars. The petroleum issue is also being averted slightly because energy production in the country is set to be 100% renewable by 2025, so the problem would be the transport that still uses fossil fuels and requires US dollar dominated petroleum imports.

But I agree that the Rajapaskas have been incredibly corrupt and running Sri Lanka as if they had an endless pot of wealth for their personal use. In fact most of the government and leaders in the country look incredibly corrupt and there is so much better talent out there Sri Lanka could appoint/elect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An colonization, an exploited population, war and then corruption-can Sri Lanka be more unlucky?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They should let china build a massive military base in return for cheap Russian oil re-exported via China. Fertilizer too.

Something tells me Sri Lanka may have had enough of China's fertilizer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Should not have sold your sole to China!!! Wouldn't be in the deep hole you are in now!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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