Crisis-hit Sri Lanka’s finance minister says no alternative to debt restructuring

Sajith Premadasa, leader of the opposition alliance, Samagi Jana Balawegaya, marches along with other opposition lawmakers towards Independence Square as they shout slogans against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa after the government imposed a curfew following a clash between police and protestors near Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s residence during a protest last Thursday, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

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  • Opposition threatens no-confidence motion in parliament
  • Debt-laden island already hit by fuel, food, medicine shortages
  • Industry leaders warn of 20%-30% fall in exports in 2022
  • Industry demands seeking urgent help from IMF, ADB, World Bank

COLOMBO, April 8 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s finance minister on Friday said that the crisis-hit country must urgently restructure its debt and seek external help, while the main opposition threatened a no-confidence motion and business leaders warned that exports could plummet.

The heavily indebted country has little money left to pay for imports, leading to crippling shortages of fuel, power, food and, increasingly, medicine. Street protests have been held nearly non-stop for more than a month, despite a five-day state of emergency and a two-day curfew.

“We cannot step away from repaying debt because the consequences are terrifying. There is no alternative, we must restructure our debt,” Ali Sabry told…

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