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India talks with Sri Lanka on a debt moratorium despite concerns over human rights

India is currently in discussions with Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, over the topic of a debt moratorium, despite concerns over Sri Lanka’s human rights record.

In February Rajapaksa had requested debt relief from Narendra Modi due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Sri Lanka currently holds an outstanding loan of 962 million USD to India, including accrued interest. This year, Sri Lanka is set due to pay 169.7 million USD to India. EconomyNext has reported that Sri Lanka has over 4.8 billion US dollars to repay this year. 

Thus far, the Daily Mirror reports, the Reserve Bank of India and Central Bank of Sri Lanka have agreed to a currency SWAP faculty of US$ 1. 1 billion to be signed next week.

This discussion between India and Sri Lanka follows international outcry over the establishment of a presidential task force which threatens to silence critics of the government and empower the military to oversee functions previously administered by the public sector. The International Commission of Jurists has described this task force as a threat to the “rule of law”.

The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice has called on the international community push back against Sri Lanka’s push towards authoritarianism. Whilst encouraging a push back against Sri Lanka’s authoritarianism, Sri Lanka Campaign emphasises the need for forms of development assistance such as emergency support to civilian agencies which can help with the threat of the coronavirus and ensure that ordinary Sri Lankans are not penalised.

Read more from the Daily Mirror.

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