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Friday December 8th, 2023

Sri Lanka pushing PayPal to do inward payments for over 8 years: CB official

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has been trying to persuade PayPal, an online payment platform to enable inward remittances for over eight years with no success, the Indian Ocean island’s central bank said, though it has not given up yet.

“For the last 8 to 9 years we are working with them to get this receiving facility to Sri Lanka,” Dharmasiri Kumaratunge, Director of Payments and Settlements at Sri Lanka’s central bank told reporters.

“We wrote to the Singapore entity and our embassy to connect with the Pay Pal officials in Singapore. And we are directly working with an Indian agent that has been appointed for this purpose.

Sri Lankans who want to sell goods on online platforms like and independent software developers have been asking for PayPal, which foreign firms are comfortable in using to pay contract workers.


Some others however have also found workarounds.

“I want to mention, that there are some other entities that gives the same facility and some Sri Lankan companies also give these facilities,” Kumaratunge said.

“And there are some international companies apart from pay Pal that provide these facilities. However, that Sri Lanka is continuing to have discussions with Pay Pal.”

The central bank has already allowed credit card holders to make outward payments through Paypal which can be linked to personal credit cards.

Paypal accounts with inward remittances facilities in other countries can hold cash and also be connected to a domestic bank account to which money can be transferred.

There has been speculation that restrictions on opening foreign bank accounts by residents in Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange laws may have spooked Paypal’s legal team, but there has been no confirmation.

There had also been speculation that it may be due to low volumes.

Block chain

Governor W D Lakshman said earlier in January that the central bank was looking at multiple ways to help cross-border trade and e-commerce.

“The Central Bank is actively seeking possibilities to develop and promote other forms payment mechanisms to attract capital flows and to enable ecommerce, thus facilitating cross-border trade,” Governor Lakshman said.

“The Central Bank has already commenced discussions with international payment service providers, such as PayPal, to enable payment receipt facilities for Sri Lankan residents, and we expect positive outcomes in the near future”.

He said efforts were being made to improve the payments and settlement system and security.

“Major focus areas included strengthening of the regulatory framework, ensuring the safety of customer funds and information, and enhancing the efficiency of payments and settlements systems” he said.

“Accordingly, a Fintech Regulatory Sandbox was established, providing a testing platform for innovative products”

Governor Lakshman said Block chain Proof of Concepts that were developed are now been tested in collaboration with licensed commercial banks.

Digital payments had become increasingly useful during the pandemic.

“The year 2020 was designated as the year of digital transactions,” he said. “Thus, many promotional activities were carried out throughout the year to popularize digital payment mechanisms among the public” he said.

“In fact, the adoption of digital payment platforms proved extremely useful during the pandemic.”

“As the future of the global financial architecture is essentially digital, the Central Bank will continue its deliberations with local and international stakeholders on its treatment of digital currencies, using thorough cost benefit analyses and a long-term perspective.” (Colombo/Jan20/2020)

Comments (3)

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  1. Mahaganapathy Subramaniam says:

    Thank you Sir, You have expressed a real problem of our country.

  2. Mr X says:

    This is a national embarrassment for Sri Lanka. An immense loss in potential opportunities. There has been no clear indication of the problem.

  3. CNW PATHIRANA says:

    Paypal may not like to work with your redtape, old ideas and personel restrictions. Sri lankans easily loose at least 50M worth of trade on paypal due to CBSL Blunders

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Comments (3)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Mahaganapathy Subramaniam says:

    Thank you Sir, You have expressed a real problem of our country.

  2. Mr X says:

    This is a national embarrassment for Sri Lanka. An immense loss in potential opportunities. There has been no clear indication of the problem.

  3. CNW PATHIRANA says:

    Paypal may not like to work with your redtape, old ideas and personel restrictions. Sri lankans easily loose at least 50M worth of trade on paypal due to CBSL Blunders

SLPP enjoying “great demand” from potential presidential candidates: Namal

FILE PHOTO – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with nephew Namal at the opening of the last part of the Southern Expressway/PMD

ECONOMYNEXT – The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) enjoys “great demand” from potential presidential candidates, and the party will have to take a call on working with incumbent President Ranil Wickremesinghe, MP Namal Rajapaksa said.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday December 07, Rajapaksa claimed several names have come up concerning the SLPP’s candidate at next year’s presidential election.

“There is great demand: entrepreneurs, businessmen, politicians, are all there. There are presidents too, ready to come forward with our party,” he said.

“Out of all these people, we will put forward on behalf of our party the candidate that can take the country forward while stabilising the economy,” he added.

Commenting on continued support for President Wickremesinghe, Rajapaksa said the while SLPP at present works with the former in the present government, the party will have to decide whether that relationship continues going forward.

“The matter of whether we work with the United National Party (UNP) in the future – this is not a politics dependent on individuals; the SLPP is a party. We will talk as a party with other parties, but no discussions will be held centred around individuals,” he said.

Rajapaksa noted that Wickremesinghe was the only member of parliament representing the UNP at the time of his election by parliament following the resignation of his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa .

“If we are to collaborate with the UNP in the future, we’ll have to discuss that. Once the party has decided on that, we can get a start on those discussions. Today, we work with the president in the present government,” he said.

Last month, when asked to comment on President Wickremesinghe’s 2024 budget, MP Rajapkasa sounded rather sceptical of the president’s ambitions for turning the crisis-hit economy around.

“We must study the budget. He had presented a lot of these proposals in last year’s budget too. They don’t seem to have been implemented,” Namal Rajapaksa said, speaking to reporters after the budget presentation Monday November 13 afternoon.

Rajapaksa’s father and leader of the SLPP former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, however, spoke in favour of Wickremesinghe’s budget.


Sri Lanka’s “forward-looking” 2024 budget will instill fiscal discipline: MR

While not without its shortcomings, the older Rajapaksa said, the 2024 budget is a forward-looking one that aims to ensure fiscal discipline and put Sri Lanka on the path to recovery. (Colombo/Dec07/2023)

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Sri Lanka ruling party MP contradicts poll to claim his party is overtaking president’s

ECONOMYNEXT – The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is rising from the ashes albeit at a slower than anticipated pace, while President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) still commands only 1-2 percent of the vote, an SLPP legislator said.

MP S B Dissanayake, who is not a member of the cabinet of ministers headed by President Wickremesinghe, told reporters on Thursday December 07 that support for any major political party of the island nation is on a downward trend while the SLPP alone is gaining ground.

An independent poll by the Institute for Health Policy (IHP) however shows that this is decidedly not the case. Polling data for October showed that the leftist National People’s Power (NPP) had enjoyed support from 40 percent of likely voters, having dipped 2 percent from September, while the main opposition the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) stood at 26 percent, increasing four percent from 22 percent in September. President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP’s support decreased marginally to 11 percent in October from September’s 13 percent. The SLPP also saw a decrease to 5 percent from the previous month’s 8 percent.

“You can’t gamble with elections. The election must be held. We always say electrons must be held. The presidential election must be held next year. There is no alternative,” said Dissanayake.

“Parliamentary elections can be called if needed. But that’s not how it is with the presidential election. Nominations for that will have to be called by September, October next year,” he added.

Asked by a reporter if the SLPP is ready for elections, Dissanayake acknowledged that support for his party had eroded, to nothing.

“We crashed to zero. We were turned to ashes. But we will rise from those ashes. We’re not where we thought we were. The 6.9 million [votes received at the 2019 presidential election] no longer applies. We’re at about half of that. But we’re rising, like this,” he said, gesturing upwards.

“As other major parties go in the opposite direction, we’re rising slowly. But the UNP is not. It’s still on the ground, and still at 1 to 2 percent,” he claimed.

“The SLFP is there too. Those who left us are the same. Even together they cannot form 1 percent. But we’re climbing,” he said. (Colombo/Dec07/2023)

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Sri Lanka president appoints main opposition MP advisor

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed MP Vadivel Suresh as a Senior Advisor aimed at “fostering the integration of Hill Country Tamils into Sri Lankan society”, the president’s office said.

A statement from the President’s Media Divison (PMD) said Suresh’s “pivotal role will centre around overseeing the comprehensive integration of Hill Country Tamils, particularly focusing on the districts of Badulla, Nuwara Eliya and Rathnapura”.

“The Senior Advisor will play a key role in coordinating various initiatives related to the welfare of Plantation Companies, the promotion of women, safeguarding children, addressing disparities in Tamil schools and upgrading the delivery of health services,” the statement said.

In May this year, Suresh, who represents the main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) in parliament and also serves as the general secretary of the Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union, made headlines when he issued an ultimatum to opposition and SJB leader Sajith Premadasa, demanding an apology for a perceived slight on the Indian-origin Tamil community that Suresh represents. He also spoke favourably of President Wickremesinghe, hinting at a possible cross over.

Sri Lanka’s Indian-origin Tamils, most of whom have historically worked in the plantation sector and live in dire conditions on wages widely considered unacceptably low. Speaking at a May Day rally, the Badulla district MP said Premadasa must apologise to the estate Tamils for allegedly snubbing them at an event in Madulsima that he failed to attend.

“I would like to say to our leader, sir, do not take us for granted,” said Suresh.

“If you need us to stay with you, come right now to Madulsima and apologise to my people and then we shall restart our journey. Otherwise I won’t be part of that journey. There will be no Vadivel Suresh. If you don’t apologise to my people, I won’t be with the SJB,” he said.

Making matters worse, the MP also expressed a willingness to join President Wickremesinghe if he was able to raise the daily wage of plantation workers and resolve their grievances. He also said the president has been successful in containing the disruptions caused by the currency crisis.

“On this May Day, we say to both the opposition leader and the president, I and my people would join hands with a leader that worked to increase [estate workers’] wages and give them [access to the Samurdhi welfare scheme] and include them in national policy,” he said. (Colombo/Dec07/2023)

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