Sri Lankan security forces arrested at least 21 anti-government protesters today, as officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held key talks with senior government officials in the southern capital Colombo.
The protestors were arrested by police allegedly for obstructing two entrances of the Finance Ministry in Colombo. They have since been released on bail.
The IMF team arrived on Monday for talks regarding a bailout program for the island, which is in the midst of its worst economic crisis in living memory.
Amongst the officials the team met today were current Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The IMF team will be in the city until June 30.
“We reaffirm our commitment to support Sri Lanka at this difficult time, in line with the IMF’s policies,” it said in a statement.
Patrick Curran, senior economist at US investment research firm Tellimer, told AP “Even if a staff-level agreement is reached, final programme approval will be contingent upon assurances that official creditors, including China, are willing to provide adequate debt relief”.
“All considered, the restructuring is likely to be a protracted process,” he commented.
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