May 29, 2022

Why didn't SL respond to China’s emergency diesel offer?

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed officials to discuss with China to reactivate its offer to provide emergency diesel supplies, a senior official said.

The directive came after revelations that Sri Lanka had not responded to an offer made by China to provide stocks of diesel for emergency use. The offer was made before Prime Minister Wickremesinghe took office, the official said.

China was ready to provide diesel from the stocks held in Singapore, but Sri Lanka’s attitude had ‘surprised’ the Chinese, he said.

Meanwhile, discussions held with the China EXIM Bank and the China Development Bank by the Finance Ministry on the postponement of repayments of outstanding loans too had been abruptly held up with no response from the Finance Ministry for two weeks before the Prime Minister took over, the official said. The China International Development Cooperation (CIDCA) has already offered 500 million Renminbi (the official currency of China where it acts as a medium of exchange) as emergency assistance. The first shipment of rice is due to reach Sri Lanka from China under the assistance while Sri Lanka has been requested to provide a list of specific medicines required.

(sundaytimes.lk

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by sundaytimes.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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