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Debt-laden Sri Lanka marks Independence Day with Thai prime minister as visitor of honor

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin was the visitor of honor at Sri Lanka’s 76th Independence Day celebrations on Sunday, because the island nation struggles to emerge from its worst financial disaster.

Srettha joined Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe at a low-key ceremony close to the nation’s major seaside esplanade that included a navy parade and parachute jumps. The vacation commemorates Sri Lanka’s independence from British rule in 1948.

Sri Lanka declared chapter in April 2022 with greater than $83 billion in debt, greater than half of it to international collectors. The financial upheaval led to a political disaster that compelled then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign in 2022. The parliament then elected Wickremesinghe as president.

Srettha arrived in Sri Lanka on Saturday and the 2 nations signed a free commerce settlement aiming to spice up commerce and funding.

Wickremesinghe stated on Saturday that Sri Lanka has made vital progress in financial stabilization and sought the assistance of Thailand in efforts to rework the battered economic system and regain worldwide confidence.

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Sri Lanka suspended reimbursement of its debt in 2022 because it ran wanting international foreign money wanted to pay for imports of gas and different necessities. Shortages led to road protests that modified the nation’s management. The Worldwide Financial Fund authorised a four-year bailout program final March.

The financial state of affairs has improved beneath Wickremesinghe, and extreme shortages of food, gas and drugs have largely abated. However public dissatisfaction has grown over the federal government’s effort to extend income by elevating electrical energy payments and imposing heavy new revenue taxes on professionals and companies, as a part of the federal government’s efforts to satisfy the IMF circumstances.

Sri Lanka is hoping to restructure $17 billion of its excellent debt and has already reached agreements with a few of its exterior collectors.

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