In Colombo recently, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar handed over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to President Ranil Wickremesinghe to visit New Delhi and declared that India has decided to ‘not to wait on others but to do what we believe is right’ in India’s Sri Lanka relations. Possibly referring to China, Sri Lanka’s single largest bilateral creditor, inordinately delaying a decision on Colombo’s call for restructuring the uncleared debt so that the crisis-ridden nation could obtain the US$ 2.9-billion bail-out promised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). China too has since written to the IMF in this regard.
According to Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the IMF initiative would facilitate US$ 5 billion in aid from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB), and together with US$ 3 billion that they hoped to raise through disinvestment, Sri Lanka could be on the road to economic recovery, with US$ 10 billion in the kitty. Addressing the ’Voice of the South’ online summit organised as a part of India’s G20 chairmanship this year, he also said that India was ‘best-placed talk about their common concerns to the developed world’.