Sri Lanka - Is the new India-focused relief group more viable than others?

The help of India, Japan, Russia and China seems more feasible than the help of Western countries because it is with the political situation.

Photo (

In the daily reports of perpetual scarcity, especially of fuel and medicine and food, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s announcement of planning a donor conference with India, China and Japan has not found the necessary media space. His earlier proposal for an IMF-focused ‘aid consortium’ is likely to be hampered by the West’s domineering approach to human rights issues targeting Sri Lanka, another India-centric Asia group could answer with China, Russia and West Chipping. 

"We need the support of India, Japan and China, which are historical friends. We plan to hold a donors' conference with the participation of these countries to resolve the crisis in Sri Lanka, "PM Wickremesinghe told Parliament recently. However, the expected IMF conditions could affect social, political and internal security fronts. 

Debt restructuring required

Separately, the government has "started discussions on a debt-restructuring framework" which they hope to complete in July. Management and T. Rowe Price Associates have formed a group for procurement and price negotiation. "Depending on the type of organization and geography, the group is broadly representative of Sri Lanka's bondholder base," he said in a statement. 

We plan to hold a donors' conference with the participation of these countries to resolve the crisis in Sri Lanka, "PM Wickremesinghe told Parliament recently.

Meanwhile, a U.S. bond-holder based in Hamilton Reserve Bank Limited, Caribbean Island, St. Kitts and Nevis, has since filed a lawsuit in New York federal court, seeking full payment with interest. It has accused Sri Lankan government leaders, including the Rajapaksa family, of financial irresponsibility and corruption, and of being biased in the government's decision to repay domestic debt, including interest.

The Hamilton Reserve case is an undoubted concern in Colombo if it is more than just to protect the bank’s business interests or to be seen in front of the eye. In particular, bowing to Sri Lanka on a number of issues, such as the China factor, the UNHRC investigation and Gotabaya's unreasonable expectation of resignation, is in line with US political pressure - which he has promised not to do.

Targeted help

In his parliamentary address, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also reiterated that Sri Lanka would also seek help from the United States (US). This comes after a planned visit by a US delegation to help, after President Joe Biden announced an additional US $ 20 million at the G-7 summit in Germany. Called 'targeted assistance', US assistance will go over the next 15 months to fund a nutrition program for more than 800,000 children and a 'food voucher' for 27,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women. This will help about 30,000 farmers to increase food production in vulnerable communities.

Apparently, the ambassadors of the European Union (EU) nations in Colombo met President Gotabaya, appealed to him to be considered a 'friend of Sri Lanka' and promised to help in the current economic crisis. After talks with Russian Ambassador Yuri Materi, Sirisena said former President Maithripala had offered to "play a key role in resolving fertilizer and fuel shortages". 

Ambassadors of European Union (EU) nations based in Colombo called on President Gotabaya, calling him a "friend of Sri Lanka" and promising to help in the current economic crisis.

Following the Western response to repeated calls by President Gota and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, the government has sent separate ministerial teams to Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to secure fuel supplies on concessional terms. The aid came after Prime Minister Wickremesinghe made it clear that he was not opposed to getting oil from Russia, which supplies 90,000 tonnes of crude at a time, before bilateral relations were strained following a recent arrest warrant for a controversial Aeroflot commercial aircraft in Colombo. 

China's policy

In the decade since the end of the ethnic war in 2009, the government will discuss debt-restructuring with China, one of Sri Lanka's most controversial allies, Wickremesinghe said. In talks with Chinese Ambassador Hu Wei, he reassured his nation. Continued adherence to the ‘One China’ policy, which continues to support the US-led Western countries politically and militarily in Taiwan.

However, there is no specific or immediate commitment from Beijing on debt-restructuring or substantial additional assistance. It is not clear whether China's economic woes are related to Prime Minister Li Keqiang's delayed confession, although the foundation is not strong enough to recover to some extent — or, in this case, there may be political reasons from the West.

Prime Minister Modi also flagged off the food crisis in Sri Lanka, including Afghanistan, at the recent G-7 summit in Germany, but no concrete conclusions appear to have been reached.

The same is true of Japan, a long-time ally mentioned by Wickremesinghe in Asia. Note that the aid from Tokyo is in the millions, less than it needs. Similarly, the decision taken by Prime Minister Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in favor of the Mid-May Quad Summit in Tokyo shows no visible way forward, for both nations to ‘come together to help Sri Lanka’. 

Prime Minister Modi also flagged off the food crisis in Sri Lanka, including Afghanistan, at the recent G-7 summit in Germany, but no concrete conclusions appear to have been reached. Sri Lanka needs to be optimistic about the G-7 debt relief announcement in mid-May. Details will be known when negotiations begin. 

India's unwavering support

Against this backdrop, the recent visit of India's new Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra to Colombo - his first foreign tour since taking office - is worth watching. After independent, non-political discussions with President Gotabaya and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Secretary Quatra said, "India will give its full support."

In this context, Indian investors will be concerned about the avoidable controversies present in Adani's recent investment proposals, including in the port and energy sectors, with interests in infrastructure, the country's fastest growing private sector. Other nations and their investors will also see how the host government works on it, as they too are all in the long run. 

Hiccup of human rights

India feels a moral and neighborly responsibility to help Sri Lanka, as well as with the cooperation of as many countries as possible. New Delhi should be alive to the prospects of the political situation in the West on the human rights front, especially in light of the many UNHRC resolutions and their follow-up, and their unrealistic expectation that Gotabaya will step down as president.

Indian investors will be concerned about the avoidable controversy over Adani's recent investment proposals, including the port and energy sectors, the country's fastest-growing private sector group interested in infrastructure.

Despite Colombo’s past claims, the nation had won the ‘war on LTTE terrorism’ with a majority contribution from India on the one hand and direct cooperation between China and Pakistan, on the other, without US input, New Delhi and New Delhi. In the current context, China may seem utopian. As an alternative to Colombo, it is possible to bring together a new Asian group of donors and investors, including Sri Lanka’s Southeast Asian allies and some West Asian nations that have been cold-blooded after the Rajapaksa government handled the country’s Muslim minority. Fulcrum, and Japan, Russia, and the US, all do chipping directly or otherwise. 

Of course, the Gulf states may need more than Colombo’s verbal guarantee for the safety and welfare of the country’s Muslims. Whether India's presence in the group will see them as a sufficient guarantee to take advantage of Colombo now and then, is a question for which there are no ready answers.

Yet, it could be more efficient and effective than an IMF-focused ‘aid consortium’, both in terms of terms and the Western propaganda on human rights, both of which result in short, medium, and long term for Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka. On May 9, anti-government protesters allegedly killed a government MP in a "retaliatory attack" and set fire to the homes of 78 leaders of the ruling party. But on the issue of human rights, India and Japan, China and Russia, should not leave the Gulf states, do not take almost the same approach and this is a concern for the rulers in Colombo

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post