Sri Lanka President confirms Election will be held as scheduled

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe meets Venerable Makulewe Wimala Thera

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Most Venerable Makulewe Wimala Thera, the Chief Prelate of the Ramagna Maha Nikaya, that he had informed the Election Commissioner to hold the Presidential Election as scheduled.

The President visited the Sri Lanka Ramagna Maha Nikaya headquarters on Friday afternoon (July 5) in Narahenpita, where he briefly met with the Chief Prelate.

During the visit, Most Ven. Makulewe Wimala Thera chanted blessings, bestowed his blessings upon President Wickremesinghe, and presented him with a commemorative gift.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking on the occasion, further elaborated,

“We have successfully concluded discussions with private creditors and commercial lenders regarding the debt restructuring process. I am pleased to announce that we have achieved a reduction of USD 8 billion in our debt burden.

“Additionally, we have secured a grace period of 4 years for loan repayment, extending the repayment timeline until 2043. We intend to leverage this opportunity to bolster Sri Lanka’s export economy. With strategic planning and actions over the next two years, we can position the country to avoid the need for further loans.

Thailand, a Buddhist country, has developed a robust economy today through its open economy policy. In 1950, Thailand was twice as indebted as Sri Lanka. However, it has since built a thriving economy driven by exports. In 1991, the Vietnamese Minister of Industry sought advice from me on attracting industries and investments to Sri Lanka. Today, the roles are reversed, and I find myself seeking similar advice from Vietnam.

I have officially notified the Election Commissioner that the election should proceed as scheduled. Back in 2015, I proposed reducing the President’s term from 6 years to 5 years. Today, our nation faces economic challenges, prompting the government to initiate relief programs such as Aswesuma aimed at easing the burden on our citizens.