Photo: IB Times
The Governor of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank, Nandalal Weerasinghe, has warned that the country could be in serious trouble if they do not find a stable government soon.
In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight program, Weerasinghe says there is “a lot of uncertainty” about whether or not enough foreign exchange can be found to make up for necessary petroleum.
He added that improvement in acquiring an international bailout package relied on having an anchored administration. The country is on the verge of a mass riot because of an economic crisis.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has safely escaped overseas, and acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe is implementing a curfew for day two.
Sri Lanka is facing an economic crisis that has caused food prices to skyrocket, fuel costs to rise, and other basic needs. Several people blame the Rajapaksa administration for botching the crisis and treat Wickremesinghe, who recently became the prime minister in May, as one of the problems.
Weerasinghe, who recently filled in as central bank’s governor in April, stated that he did not “see a way forward” on how to sustain essential supplies without an anchored government.
“We have been able to finance at least three shipments of diesel probably until the end of this month and some one of two shipments of petrol, but beyond that, there’s a lot of uncertainty whether we even will be able to provide sufficient foreign exchange to finance essential petroleum for this country,” he stated.
In an effort to obtain funds from the International Monetary Fund, Weerasinghe has been meeting with them regularly.
“We hope to be able to make good progress in our discussion with the creditors for debt structuring, but the timing for that process [depends] on how soon there will be a stable administration,” he added.
When an anchored government is installed, Sri Lanka could resurface from the crisis somewhere “within three or four or five months,” he advised.
The central bank’s governor has been considered a prospective president; however, he seemed to contradict the idea, stating, “I have no interest in… taking any political position.”
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