Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and current Finance Minister Mohamed Ali Sabri met at an Iftar function at a school lane in Colombo yesterday (29).
The Iftar has held at No. 80, School Lane – where Ranil Wickremesinghe’s House is situated. Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the function as the Chief Guest. Minister of Finance Mohamed Ali Sabri, Members of Parliament Faizer Qasim, Faizer Mustafa, SM Marikkar, Susil Premajayantha, Uva Governor AJM Muzammil, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardena and Sagala Ratnayake were also present at the occasion.
Sources said that Ranil Wickremesinghe had become the ‘political star’ of the Iftar event organized by The Forum 5th.
Many people had asked Wickremasinghe about the current economic situation in the country and the conditions that may arise in the future and he also clarified the facts.
It is said that the Minister of Finance Ali Sabri has also met with Wickremasinghe to discuss a program with the International Monetary Fund and solutions to the current economic crisis.
According to sources, Wickremasinghe has pointed out that the first thing to be done at this juncture is for the politicians who are the pioneers of the economic issues of all political parties to come together and discuss the economic situation of the country and find a solution.
Wickremesinghe also warned that the situation in Sri Lanka could be “extremely dire” by August, as a global food crisis is inevitable due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Sources said that he had pointed out that the light rail project provided by the Japanese government should be restarted as a solution to the existing foreign exchange problem. The light rail project, which was to be funded by the Government of Japan, was suspended as soon as the current Government came into power, which even adversely affected diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka. Wickremasinghe has pointed out to Ali Sabri that if such a massive development project could be taken back to the country at this moment, the US $ 2500 million it would receive would be a huge boost to the country’s economy.
In response, Ali Sabri has said that no one in the current cabinet understands the real depth of the crisis and that former Secretary to the President PB Jayasundara and former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal are responsible for all these issues.
In addition, commenting on the interim all-party government proposal, Wickremesinghe has stated that in order for such an endeavor to be successful, first of all, as mentioned earlier, the leaders of the economics of all political parties should hold a discussion on the current economic situation in the country and understand the situation. He has pointed out that there is no possibility of the formation of an all party government in a background where such a thing does not happen.
The former prime minister has said that nothing is happening at present and that the opposition political parties are now waiting for the situation to escalate and gain power, but if the problem persists until August, the country will not be able to cope with the global food crisis. Sources said that the party has been warned that a situation will arise where it will not be able to form a government.