Amid economic turmoil, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe urged China on Thursday to restructure its debt as Beijing is Colombo’s largest bilateral lender. “We have informed the Chinese government of the need to restructure the debt and the need for all the creditors to “sing from the same hymn sheet,” Wickremesinghe told Nikkei Asia in an interview.
The appeal to China, Sri Lanka’s largest bilateral lender, has emerged as a formidable challenge to Wickremesinghe, who is leading the country’s financial team as it attempts to rebuild an economy starved of foreign reserves and mired in misery, reported a Sri Lankan publication,
The Morning. Responding to a question about China’s preferred route of refinancing its loans or deferring the repayment dates for countries in debt to Chinese banks—rather than restructuring the loans and settling for a loss-making “haircut,” Wickremesinghe told Nikkei Asia at the Presidential Secretariat, “China, of course, has adopted a different approach, so it is a question of what the agreement that the other creditor parties can reach with China.” Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe admitted that reaching an agreement withthe International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be difficult, according to The Morning. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) statement on the eve of its visit highlighted, albeit obliquely, that the China factor is set to shape Sri Lanka’s economic fortunes. On the prospects of giving Sri Lanka a multibillion-dollar bailout, the fund said, “Because Sri Lanka’s public debt is assessed as unsustainable, approval by the IMF Executive Board of the Extended Fund Facility programme would require adequate assurances by Sri Lanka’s creditors that debt sustainability will be restored.” The Washington-based fund’s team will be in Colombo until the end of this month and called on Wickremesinghe on Thursday to discuss the current situation of the economic crisis the nation is grappling with at present, reported The Morning.
During the meeting with President Wickremesinghe, the IMF delegates decided to hold further discussions with Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) officials on technical issues, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said. The Morning reported that IMF Monetary and Capital Market Department Debt Capital Markets Division Chief Peter Breuer, Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake, and CBSL Governor Dr. Nanadalal Weerasinghe also joined the discussion, reported The Morning.
The meeting with the Head of State came after the delegates of the global lender kicked off discussions with Dr. Weerasinghe in the morning, to finalise a staff-level agreement for a possible USD 3 billion bailout package, including restructuring debt of about USD 29 billion.
The IMF’s Resident Representative for Sri Lanka, Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan, and Finance Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana, also participated in the talks at the Central Bank premises.
COLOMBO: The fertiliser deal between Sri Lanka and China has caused the island nation’s exchequer a loss of USD 6.9 million as the stock of fertiliser was rejected in December 2021 over reports that it contained harmful bacteria. The Morning reported that it is not possible to regain the amount of USD 6.9 million paid for the stock of organic fertiliser manufactured by the Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co Ltd in China when Mahindananda Aluthgamage was Minister of Agriculture, and current Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera said that it should be acknowledged that the country has suffered a loss in this regard. The loss was disclosed during a media briefing held on Wednesday, as journalists queried the Minister regarding the said amount paid for the stock of organic fertiliser imported from China. In response to the query, Amaraweera said, “A payment of USD 6.9 million has been made for the Chinese fertiliser ship. Now, there is no fertiliser nor money. There is no apparent way to solve this issue either. My first attempt was to see if we could get this amount of money back, but it does not seem to be working. “We have to accept the fact that our country has suffered a loss.
It was recently reported that although the Agriculture Ministry was considering obtaining another type of fertiliser manufactured by the Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co Ltd to replace the controversial stock of organic fertiliser containing harmful bacteria that was sent back, the company had not responded favourably. Speaking to The Morning at the time, Amaraweera said, “Discussions are currently underway between the company concerned, its local representatives, and Ministry officials concerning the stock of organic fertiliser that was sent back. However, I have been informed that there are some issues.
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Archana Pooran Singh desires to follow Neena Gupta’s plea for work.
Actor Archana Pooran Singh who is currently seen in The Kapil Sharma show has revealed that she is ‘dying to perform’. She expressed her frustration at people knowing only one aspect of her craft.
Popularly, she is known for her comic role in the classic movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, in which she performed the role of Professor Ms Briganza. She developed such a strong comedic reputation, thanks to the role that even 20 years later, she hasn’t been offered a serious role.
The actor added that she can do so much more in acting than comic roles, she can cry and make people cry too. She said the side of her is yet to be explored and this will happen someday.
Archana said, “That chhaap (image) is so solid. Also, a lot of people feel that what they should offer me after Ms Briganza. It’s been almost 25 years since Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was released. And the character is still following me. People also feel that I am best suited only for comedy. As an actor, I feel deprived, cheated and I have been left yearning for good roles.”
She stated that she is considering approaching filmmakers for work in the same way that actress Neena Gupta did. Neena, once posted on her Instagram asking the filmmakers for work as she wasn’t offered any roles in a long time and was sitting at home. After this, she got great opportunities and delivered a blockbuster film, ‘Badhai Ho.’
Archana made her film debut with Abhishek and then featured in Jalwa opposite Naseeruddin Shah. She was also part of several films such as Agneepath (1990), Saudagar (1991), Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aashiq Awara (1993), and Raja Hindustani (1996). Fans saw her in comedy roles such as Love Story 2050, Mohabbatein, Krrish, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Masti, De Dana Dan and Bol Bachchan.
Malayalam filmmaker Ashokan dies at 60
Raman Ashok Kumar, also known as Malayalam filmmaker Ashokan died on Sunday (Sep 25). He was 60. Recently returned from Singapore, he passed away while receiving medical care in Kochi, Kerala, at a private hospital.
Ashokan, a Varkala native, began his career in film as filmmaker Sasi Kumar’s assistant. After roughly 25 years of working as an assistant director, Ashokan released his first picture, “Varnam,” in 1989. The ensemble cast of the critically acclaimed movie “Varnam” included Jayaram, Suresh Gopi, Ranjini, Thilakan, Meena, Jagathy Sreekumar, Parvathy, and Mukesh. He collaborated with director Thaha to co-direct the Suresh Gopi and Parvathy-starring film “Saandaram” a year later, in 1990.
He teamed up once more with Thaha in 1991 to co-direct the slapstick comedy “Mookkilla Rajyathu,” which starred Mukesh, Thilakan, Jagathy Sreekumar, Siddique, and Vinaya Prasad. The movie “Mookkilla Rajyathu” earned positive reviews and became hit. After that, Ashokan directed “Aacharyan” in 1993, starring Thilakan, Suresh Gopi, and Sreenivasan, and the movie also succeeded in attracting viewers. After that, according to reports, Ashokan relocated to Singapore and concentrated on business, but he never lost his love for movies. The telefilm he later directed, “Kaanappurangal,” earned him the Kerala State Award for best telefilm.
The filmmaker’s funeral will take place on Tuesday at his Varkala home. Ashokan is survived by his wife Seetha and their daughter Abhirami.
Uttarakhand teen murder: The resort has been demolished, but an official claims that ‘all evidence is safe.’
Following the alleged murder of an employee at a Uttarakhand resort near Rishikesh, a member of the Special Investigation Team leading the investigation has claimed that all physical and forensic evidence from the site has been secured.
“Forensic team had collected all evidence from Vanatara resort before its demolition (on September 24). All evidence found there being used in forensic investigation is safe; further probe underway,” PR Devi quoted.
The investigation is being conducted in relation to the alleged murder of a 19-year-old receptionist who worked at a property owned by Haridwar BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit.
Pulkit and two other employees were detained.
Her body was discovered in a canal near Rishikesh after she went missing. As family and activists demanded action, violent protests erupted in the resort’s vicinity, and the administration began demolishing the structure.
However, critics pointed out that evidence may have been destroyed as well.
A preliminary autopsy at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh revealed that she drowned. However, there were antemortem injuries (those received before death).
Her family had refused to carry out the final rites until they had received the final report. She was later cremated on the banks of the Alaknanda after the state government assured her that a fair investigation would be conducted.
Pushkar Singh Dhami, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, has promised that no one involved in the murder will be spared. He also directed officials to ‘ensure better law and order and to keep an eye out for ‘anti-social elements which disrupt the peaceful environment.’
Jacqueline Fernandez granted bail in 200 crore extortion case
In the 200 crore extortion case, Jacqueline Fernandez received a momentary reprieve when she was given an interim release. The primary defendant in the case is imprisoned conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar.
The Patiala court in Delhi has granted interim bail to the actor for a bond of ₹50,000. The subsequent hearing in the case would be held on October 22. Jacqueline was interrogated for over 7 hours by the Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing.
The con man is said to have been friends with the 37-year-old Sri Lankan actress, who received many expensive gifts from him including luxury bags, clothes, jewellery, etc. worth Rs. 5.72 crores. The actor also told the ED that Sukesh had hired private jets as well as booked helicopter rides for her.
Earlier, the actress denied her friendship with the con man but after the intimate pictures of the actress with Sukesh surfaced on the internet she accepted dating him. The alleged pictures were taken in April-June of 2022.
Her friendship with Chandrashekhar – accused in more than 10 cases – started on WhatsApp in January 2021, and she had secretly met the conman on several occasions at a well-known hotel in Chennai and other places, she had told the officers, the report further highlighted.
The actor had admitted before the officers that the jailed conman had paid a huge amount of money to fashion designer Leepakshi, for designing exclusive costumes for her. The ED will now interrogate her designer as well.
Storm sweeps away at least 20 homes into the ocean within seconds in Canada
As powerful storm Fiona swept houses into the sea and caused major power outages in the country, many parts of Canada suffered immense devastation on Sunday. According to the reports, death of two people had been reported as of now.The storm packed intense winds of 80 miles per hour upon its arrival in Canada, resulting in torrential rain and waves of up to 40 feet.In a spine chilling video shared widely on social media, homes in Canada can be seen being washed up by the ocean as hurricane Fiona battered port Aux Basques.Reuters reported, Storm surges swept at least 20 homes into the sea in the town of Channel-Port aux Basques.Mayor Brian Button described “a total war zone” in the area as 200 residents were evacuated before the storm hit.In Canada, over 300,000 people remained without electricity across five provinces after the storm hit.Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said that he had met with the Incident Response Group to ensure that “resources are available to help those affected by the storm.”
PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi wish Manmohan Singh on his 90th birthday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sent Dr. Manmohan Singh his birthday wishes on his 90th birthday, wishing him a long and healthy life.
“Birthday greetings to former PM Dr Manmohan Singh Ji. Praying for his long and healthy life,” tweeted PM Modi.
Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, sent Dr. Singh birthday greetings as well.
Wishing one of India’s finest statesmen, Dr Manmohan Singh ji a very happy birthday. His humility, dedication and contribution to India’s development, have few parallels. He is an inspiration to me, and to crores of other Indians. I pray for his good health and happiness,” tweeted the Wayanad MP.
Before the partition, Singh was born on September 26, 1932, in the Punjabi village of Gah. He studied at Oxford, Cambridge, and Punjab University.
Today marks the 90th birthday of Dr. Singh, who served as prime minister for two consecutive terms (from 2004 to 2014). He is a well-known economist who is credited with enacting significant reforms in the 1990s.
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