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IMF Deputy Managing Director Kenji Okamura to arrive in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO (News 1st); Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kenji Okamura is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on Wednesday (31) for a two-day official visit.The State Ministry of Finance said he is due to hold talks with the President, Finance Ministry officials, and officials of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.Okamura will also take an observational tour of several projects including Colombo Port City.The State Ministry of Finance said he is due to participate in several rounds of discussions regarding recent trends in Sri Lanka's economic program, opportunities to empower the economy in the future, and ways to minimize obstacles and delays.

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Yoweri Museveni - Uganda president signs tough anti-gay bill into law with death penalty in some cases - - Uganda
Uganda president signs tough anti-gay bill into law with death penalty in some cases
FILE - A member of the LGBTQ community prays during an evangelical church service on April 23, 2023, in Kampala, Uganda. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images) KAMPALA, Uganda - Uganda's president has signed into law tough new anti-gay legislation supported by many in this East African country but widely condemned by rights activists and others abroad.The version of the bill signed by President Yoweri Museveni doesn't criminalize those who identify as LGBTQ, a key concern for campaigners who condemned an earlier draft of the legislation as an egregious attack on human rights.But the new law still prescribes the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," which is defined as cases of sexual relations involving people infected with HIV as well as with minors and other categories of vulnerable people.A suspect convicted of "attempted aggravated homosexuality" can be imprisoned for up to 14 years, according to the legislation.RELATED: UN rights chief calls Uganda anti-LGBTQ bill 'deeply troubling'Parliamentary Speaker Anita Among said in a statement that the president had "answered the cries of our people" in signing the bill."With a lot of humility, I thank my colleagues the Members of Parliament for withstanding all the pressure from bullies and doomsday conspiracy theorists in the interest of our country," the statement said.Museveni had returned the bill to the national assembly in April, asking for changes that would differentiate between identifying as LGBTQ and actually engaging in homosexual acts.
Ranil Wickremesinghe - Ranil Wickramasinghe - President calls for Sri Lanka – Japan collaboration - - Japan - Sri Lanka - city Tokyo, Japan
President calls for Sri Lanka – Japan collaboration
President Ranil Wickremesinghe engaged in a pivotal business round table on “Sri Lanka’s Economic Revival & Opportunities for Japanese Enterprise,” where he presented the nation’s commitment to stabilizing and liberalizing the economy while actively inviting new foreign ventures.The event, jointly organized by JETRO, Japan-Sri Lanka Business Co-Operation, and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan, aimed to strengthen economic ties between the two nations.During the round table, President Wickremesinghe fervently outlined the ongoing efforts undertaken by Sri Lanka to restore stability and openness to its economy, presenting an inviting climate for foreign investment. With a clear vision to attract Japanese enterprise, he discussed the various measures and reforms being implemented to create a conducive business environment for potential investors.Recognizing Japan’s significance as a vital economic partner, President Wickremesinghe emphasized the mutual benefits that can be derived from increased collaboration between the two nations. Sri Lanka’s strategic location and skilled workforce were highlighted as key advantages, providing a gateway for Japanese companies to expand their operations in the region and leverage the country’s emerging economic opportunities.As Sri Lanka continues its journey toward economic revival, President Wickremesinghe’s active participation in the round table, underscores the government’s unwavering commitment to attracting foreign investment and driving sustainable economic progress.Meanwhile, President Ranil Wickramasinghe also joined a meeting with the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association.Meanwhile, a meeting took place in Tokyo between Japan’s Minister of Digitization, Mr.
Ranil Wickremesinghe - Fumio Kishida - Japan, Sri Lanka confirm importance of transparent debt restructuring - - China - city Beijing - Japan - India - Sri Lanka - Britain - France - city Tokyo, Japan
Japan, Sri Lanka confirm importance of transparent debt restructuring
Japanese and Sri Lankan leaders on Thursday (25) confirmed the importance of "transparent and fair" debt restructuring, apparently warning against China's alleged debt-trap diplomacy, which uses loans as leverage to gain concessions from borrower nations.The agreement came during a meeting in Tokyo between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who expressed appreciation for the Asian country's role in restructuring his nation's debt.Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt in April 2022 amid the worst economic crisis since the South Asian country, with a population of 22 million, gained independence from Britain in 1948, with China emerging as the biggest bilateral creditor to the nation in recent years.Against a backdrop of Beijing's so-called debt trap diplomacy, many developing countries receiving massive loans from China, including Sri Lanka, have given up control of key infrastructure after the debt liabilities become untenable.During the three-day Group of Seven summit through Sunday in the western Japan city of Hiroshima, the leaders urged all nations to refrain from using "economic coercion" as a tool to pursue political objectives with China in mind.Wickremesinghe, meanwhile, told Kishida at the outset of their meeting, which was open to the media, that the debt-strapped country's efforts to improve its fiscal health have made "remarkable headway" on the back of support by Japan and other major democracies.Japan, France and India have launched an initiative to coordinate the restructuring of Sri Lanka's hefty loans among its creditors.
Ranil Wickremesinghe - President highlights debt sustainability, Asia’s significance at Nikkei Forum - - China - Japan - Usa - India - Sri Lanka - state Indiana - city Tokyo, Japan
President highlights debt sustainability, Asia’s significance at Nikkei Forum
COLOMBO (News 1st); Debt sustainability consequent to COVID-19 is the critical impasse of several Asian nations, Sri Lanka being one of the first and worst affected, said President Ranil Wickremesinghe when he took the stage at the ‘Nikkei Forum: Future of Asia’ held in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday (25).According to the full speech made public by the President's Media Division, President Wickremesinghe had noted that As a middle-income country, Sri Lanka accepted that: a) Time is of an essence in resolving the issues of debt sustainability, and b) The only option available for vulnerable middle-income countries is to seek the assistance of the IMF to ensure multilateral coordination and cooperation in debt restructuring.'Decisions were quickly taken to enter negotiations, talks began in June last year, a Staff-Level Agreement was reached in September, the IMF Executive Board approved a US $3bn loan under the Extended Fund Facility in March 2023, and Parliamentary approval was obtained in April this year. We have now started creditor meetings and hope for a successful conclusion before end of 2023," said the President."This process involves the multilateral agencies, Paris Club members, India, China and the private creditors.
Ranil Wickremesinghe - Yoshihide Suga - Fumio Kishida - Human Rights, Climate Change, Trade Integration are key challenges – President tells Nikkei Forum - - Japan - Sri Lanka - region Asia-Pacific
Human Rights, Climate Change, Trade Integration are key challenges – President tells Nikkei Forum
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has highlighted three major challenges facing Asia in his address at the Nikkei Forum on the Future of Asia in Tokyo. Wickremesinghe said democratic values and human rights, climate change, & trade integration are key challenges.The President also emphasized the importance of respecting the diverse political systems and definitions of human rights across Asian countries.FUTURE OF ASIA is an international gathering where political, economic, and academic leaders from the Asia-Pacific region offer their opinions frankly and freely on regional issues and the role of Asia in the world. Held by Nikkei every year since 1995, it is considered to be one of the most important global conferences in Asia.Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe held bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Japan on Thursday (25).President Wickremesinghe expressed his appreciation for the support extended by Japan to Sri Lanka in recovering from the economic crisis, said the President's Media Division.Earlir, President Ranil Wickremesinghe met former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.The President outlined the economic recovery in the country and invited Japanese investments to return to the country, said the President's Media Division.The President will also meet the officials of the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship League, which is engaged in strengthening relations between the two countries, while promoting mutually beneficial cultural ties. During the visit, President Wickremesinghe also plans to engage with the Business Community during a Business Forum organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo, in collaboration with the Japan External Trade