Debt restructuring talks with China have already started and it will be elevated to a higher level soon, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
In an interview with Strat News Global, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the preliminary measures related to the staff level agreement reached to obtain a loan of USD 2.9 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are currently being implemented in the country.
The President said that the next step will be to reach an agreement with the creditors and added that this has to be done because the country is not in a position to settle the loans.
After reaching a final consensus with the creditors, the President said that Sri Lanka should go back to the IMF and its Board of Directors. He said that Sri Lanka has already started bilateral negotiations with the creditors.
Mr. Wickremesinghe pointed out that discussions should be held with the private creditors once the country-level negotiations are over and that he will discuss their role while he is in Japan.
He said that discussions have been commenced with Japan and India while discussions have started with China at a lower level which should be taken to a higher level.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said that since the majority of people in the country wanted to maintain law and order, they agreed to take legal action against those who took the law into their hands during the protests, especially when they tried to surround the parliament.
The President stated that some civil society activists who joined the protesters had thought that the government would collapse and were anticipating what role they would have to play once the government collapsed.
The President said the protesters threatened to set his house on fire if he did not hand over the letter of resignation, and then the protesters wanted to take over Parliament.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said that he instructed the military to protect the Parliament since the protesters wanted to prevent the election of the President.
“Today, many Sri Lankans have realised this situation,” the President said and thanked India for all the assistance it has offered to Sri Lanka.