Sri Lanka cannot simply withdraw from IMF – President

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that Sri Lanka cannot simply rule out the relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), referring to the complications that may arise if a decision is taken to do so.

Sri Lanka recently formalized an agreement with the IMF, a collective response to address the deep economic challenges facing the nation, which have marked the worst in its history.

This pact stands among agreements endorsed by numerous nations, involving approximately 15-20 others.

“It is an agreement we cannot simply walk away from, necessitating collective discussion and consideration.

However, the unfortunate reality is that our political landscape often resembles the fleeting nature of ‘papadam’ put in the pan, enjoyed when it blooms and soon forgotten. The cycle repeats, with new issues emerging, gaining momentary attention and eventually fading into oblivion,” he said, speaking at the International Customs Day celebrations yesterday.

Acknowledging the profound implications of this decision for current and future generations, President Ranil Wickremesinghe urged parliamentary leaders of all political parties to engage in a wide-ranging discussion on the nation’s position on the IMF agreement and whether any amendments are considered far-sighted.

Wickremesinghe expressed his willingness to extend an invitation to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, for participation in a collective discourse within Sri Lanka. He urged the stakeholders to collaboratively explore diverse perspectives and propose modifications deemed advantageous.

“Let us collaboratively explore different perspectives and propose modifications, if deemed beneficial. While the amendment process is open for consideration, it is imperative to acknowledge the existing agreement and work towards its implementation,” he said.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks during the International Customs Day celebrations at the Colombo Customs Headquarters on Friday morning (January 26).