United States Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Samantha Power on Sunday assured US support to Colombo, saying China should cooperate with Sri Lanka in its debt restructuring process.
Sri Lanka, which opted for a preemptive sovereign default in April amid a sharp slowdown, should hold talks with its diverse creditors – international sovereign bond holders, multilateral agencies, bilateral creditors such as China, Japan and India – and restructure their outstanding debt. should do. To qualify for a $2.9 billion package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Addressing a media conference at the end of her two-day visit, Ms Power said: “The United States as a creditor, and as a member of the Paris Club, is ready to participate in the restructuring of Sri Lanka’s debt. It is imperative that all creditors of Sri Lanka, in particular the People’s Republic of China, cooperate in this process openly and on comparable terms with each other.
The observation appeared in line with his remarks in New Delhi in July, that “opaque” Chinese debt funding “title-grabbing” infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka had contributed to the island nation’s woes. It also echoed India’s statement that “creditor equity and transparency are important” after Sri Lanka reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF. That said, creditors had a chance to “make a very positive difference and relieve Sri Lanka from some of its dire debt woes.” USAID pledged $60 million for fertilizers and emergency humanitarian assistance for farmers during Ms. Power’s visit.
In addition, Ms Power said her delegation underscored the Sri Lankan leadership that political reform and accountability should go “hand-in-hand” with economic recovery. “We emphasized the demands and aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka, the importance of being transparent about that roadmap, about those intentions, and ensuring that political reform is not in any way portrayed as by some. is done, [as being] Under stress with economic stability. ,
President Wickremesinghe’s office said in a statement after the meeting that he outlined the government’s plans to enact a law aimed at reducing executive powers, a new anti-terrorism law and electoral reforms.
On US participation in the United Nations Human Rights Council, where a resolution on Sri Lanka is expected soon, Ms Power said it was “very clear on the ground” that the aspirations of those seeking justice, escaping a protracted civil war, and the missing In spite of “many attempts” and processes to generate progress, to preserve the “basic facts and basic truths” about individuals. “So it is in that spirit that the United States engages as part of the core group [on Sri Lanka] In Geneva,” said Ms. Power, who previously served as the US ambassador to the United Nations.
“As someone who has traveled and met with survivors of violence and many mothers still taking pictures of their babies who have gone missing, I would say that to comfort families who have endured. Whatever step may be taken for the kind of violence and suffering that has happened in this country, it is important for all of us to stand behind,” she said.