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Tuesday April 16th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s violence against women is a shadow pandemic

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has a culture of tolerating violence against women with many incidents growing unreported, an activist has said, citing results of a national survey.

A survey done by the Department of Census and Statistics showed that 24.9 percent of women in Sri Lanka had experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner or non-partner.

Two in every five women (39.8 percent) have suffered physical, sexual, emotional, and/or economic violence and/or controlling behaviours by a partner.

“The most obvious consequence of violence against women is the negative impact on the victims’ physical health,” Shihara Maduwage, an equal rights activist writes.

“According to the survey, more than a quarter (28.9 percent) of women who were victims of physical or sexual violence by a partner had sustained an injury as a result of the violence, and 18.7 percent. reported being hurt enough to need medical care.

More than one third (37.9 percent) of women living on estates have experienced physical violence during their lifetime.

“The survey findings also indicated that there is an overlap between sexual and physical violence, which means that women who were subject to sexual violence by their partners were also physically abused. Furthermore, violence was rarely a one-time occurrence,” she says.

“For instance, the survey reveals that, among women and girls who reported to have had sexual intercourse “because they were afraid”, over 65 percent reported it happened 2-5 times and nearly 32% said it happened more than five times.

“This shows that violence is a constant and long-term presence in the lives of women who are victims.

Women were more than twice as likely to have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner than a non-partner. They were also more likely to experience sexual violence by a partner than a non-partner.

“Even when it comes to non-partners, most often, the perpetrators are family members or those known to the victims, rather than strangers,” she says.

“For instance, more than 42 percent of women who experienced violence by a non-partner reported that male family members were responsible for the physical violence against them.

“The implications of these statistics are grave; while Sri Lankan culture dictates that motherhood has a revered place in the family, these findings indicate that for a large number of women in Sri Lanka, home is not a safe environment.”

The full analysis is reproduced below.

Violence against Women in Sri Lanka

Findings from Women’s Wellbeing Survey 2019 is Only the Tip of the Iceberg

Despite being the first country in the world to elect a female Prime Minister 60 years ago, Sri Lanka’s current track record in women’s rights and welfare is quite dreary.

While over half the country’s population is female and their contributions are significant, women are still treated as second-class citizens.

For instance, Sri Lanka’s economy is heavily reliant on remittances from migrant workers (one of the country’s top sources of foreign exchange) and a large portion of these remittances are sent by female domestic workers employed in the Middle-East; unfortunately, little has been done to ensure the rights and safety of these migrant workers.

At the same time, the female labour force participation (FLFP) rate has been stagnating at less than 35% for many years (33.6% of the total population in 2018). On the political front, the participation of women in the decision-making process is abysmally low.

In the current 225-member Parliament, there are only 12 female MPs; this means that women’s representation in the parliament is just around 5%. In the 26-member Cabinet, there is only female Cabinet Minister. Due to the deep-rooted sexism and the patriarchy governing its sociocultural practices, Sri Lanka has a long way to go in terms of achieving gender equality and women’s welfare.

In this regard, one of the severe issues that has received scant attention is the prevalence of Gender-based Violence (GBV) and violence against women in Sri Lanka. Recently, the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS)of Sri Lanka released the findings of its Women’s Wellbeing Survey (2019), the country’s first dedicated national survey on violence against women and girls.

The survey covered all 25 districts of the country and interviewed 2,264women aged 15 years and older. It rightly recognises that violence against women is “one of the most pervasive human rights violations that impacts the progression and wellbeing of women and girls.”

Prevalence of Violence against Women in Sri Lanka

The report reveals that, overall, one in four (24.9%) women in Sri Lanka has experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner or a non-partner. Meanwhile, two in every five women (39.8%) have suffered physical, sexual, emotional, and/or economic violence and/or controlling behaviours by a partner.

Instances of physical violence was highest in the estate sector.

More than one third (37.9%) of women living on estates have experienced physical violence during their lifetime. The survey findings also indicated that there is an overlap between sexual and physical violence, which means that women who were subject to sexual violence by their partners were also physically abused. Furthermore, violence was rarely a one-time occurrence.

For instance, the survey reveals that, among women and girls who reported to have had sexual intercourse “because they were afraid”, over 65% reported it happened 2-5 times and nearly 32% said it happened more than five times. This shows that violence is a constant and long-term presence in the lives of women who are victims.

Disturbingly, women were more than twice as likely to have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner than a non-partner. They were also more likely to experience sexual violence by a partner than a non-partner.

One in five women (20.4%) who have had a partner in their lifetime (referred to as “ever-partnered women” in the report), have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner.

Even when it comes to non-partners, most often, the perpetrators are family members or those known to the victims, rather than strangers. For instance, more than 42% of women who experienced violence by a non-partner reported that male family members were responsible for the physical violence against them.

The implications of these statistics are grave; while Sri Lankan culture dictates that motherhood has a revered place in the family, these findings indicate that for a large number of women in Sri Lanka, home is not a safe environment.

Violence against LBTQ Women

The Women’s Wellbeing Survey (2019) does not specifically look at instances of violence against women who are in same-sex relationships or who identify as a part of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LBTQ) community.

Since Sri Lanka criminalises same-sex sexual relations among consenting adults in its Penal Code, government authorities remain indifferent to the issues faced by the community.

There is also a prevalent myth that domestic abuse and violence cannot occur among partners of the same sex. However, anecdotal evidence gathered by EQUAL GROUND shows that there is a high prevalence of violence committed against the LGBTIQ community, particularly LBTQ women.

They are doubly marginalised – both due to their gender and their sexual orientation. This means that when it comes to violence and domestic abuse, they are worse off than cis-gender, heterosexual women.

Apart from violence from partners and non-partners, LBTQ women also face the challenge of being forced into heterosexual marriages by their families to “cure” them of what is seen as deviant/impure desires. While there are no research findings on this issue, it is clear that LBTQ women suffer greatly due to the prevalence of violence against women.

Far-reaching Consequences

The most obvious consequence of violence against women is the negative impact on the victims’ physical health. According to the survey, more than a quarter (28.9%) of women who were victims of physical or sexual violence by a partner had sustained an injury as a result of the violence, and 18.7% reported being hurt enough to need medical care.

For most of these victims, being injured was not a one-time occurrence, showing that most abusers do not back off or stop/reduce the violence, even when they have caused grave bodily harm to their victims. Apart from immediate injuries, violence also caused other health issues to victims.

For instance, most women who suffered sexual violence by a partner said that it had impacted their health, with 29.6% reporting the impact as “a little”, while nearly half of them (44.5%) rated the impact as being “a lot.”

Impact on the mental health of those who experience violence is also severe, with many of the respondents reporting emotional distress as a result of their experiences. The report noted that more than one in three (35.7%) women who experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner have thought about committing suicide; comparatively, only 6.8% of women who never experienced violence reported suicidal thoughts.

A higher number of those who have been victims of violence (14.6%) also reported having attempted suicide compared to those who had no experiences of violence (1.4%).

In addition, nearly one in ten women (9.2%) said they were unable to concentrate at work, while 6.9% reported they were unable to work at all due to the violence. Furthermore, the report noted that medical treatment cost, on average, over LKR 3,300 – a significant cost.

Women who had to take time off due to their injuries said they had to take an average of 18 days off. These findings indicate that violence against women causes a drop in their productivity and has a direct impact on their economic security.

While these consequences are quite serious, violence against women does not only have an impact on the victims; it also has a significantly negative impact on children who live in households where the violence takes place. Even just witnessing the violence (as most children do) can emotionally and psychologically scar children – sometimes for life.

For instance, the report shows that women who suffered violence by their partners were also more likely to have a child drop out of school (4.5%) compared to women who never experienced violence (1.7%). Meanwhile, another important finding is that more women with violent partners, compared to those who did not have violent partners, reported that their partner grew up in a violent home as a child.

This points to the intergenerational aspect of violence against women; in other words, children who grow up in violent households grow up to be abusers themselves, continuing the cycle of violence.

A Culture of Tolerance of Violence against Women

One of the main reasons that not much has been done to curtail the prevalence of violence against women is Sri Lankan society’s attitudes and perceptions towards the issue. Many do not see violence against women as a problem.

The above-mentioned report reveals that nearly half the respondents (47.5%) agreed with the statement that “a man should show he is the boss”, while 46.5% agreed that “a good wife obeys her husband even if she disagrees.”

Moreover, two in five (39.5%) women felt that women were “obliged to have sex with their husbands when [they do] not feel like it” and over one third (35.3%) felt “men can have a good reason to hit their wife.”

These results point to the deeply ingrained sexism, internalised misogyny, and patriarchal views that govern Sri Lankan society. Girls and women are taught from a young age that men are superior to them and the role of a good wife is to be subservient to her husband; therefore, they grow up believing that violence against women by intimate partners or male family members are acceptable and a natural part of family life. As they do not see it as a problem, they do not take action against such violence, whether committed against themselves or women around them.

This has led to a culture of tolerance and acceptance of violence against women, with dire consequences. Due to this, most women who experience or have experienced violence suffer in silence, rather than seeking help.

In exploring Sri Lankan society’s attitude towards violence against women, the report highlights an important point. It finds that women who have higher levels of education are less likely to tolerate violence when compared tothose who have had no or low levels of education.

For instance, only 18.5% of women with higher education agreed men could be justified in hitting their wife when compared to the 44.1% of women with no education and the 42.4% of those with just primary education who agreed with the above statements.

It is possible that those with higher levels of education have more knowledge about the issue of violence against women; it could also be that they are more economically-secure and are less likely to depend on their husbands/partners for financial support. In any case, these findings show that education plays an important role in eliminating violence against women.

A Much Larger and Rapidly Worsening Problem

While the Women’s Wellbeing Survey (2019) is a commendable first step in exposing the prevalence of violence against women in Sri Lanka, it only shows the tip of the iceberg – a fact acknowledged in the report. In Sri Lanka, most women do not report violence, especially if it is committed by a partner or a family member. The attitudes of society is partly to blame for this issue.

However, there are other factors at play as well. The report touches on some of these reasons. It notes that one in five (21.4%) women who experience sexual violence by a partner told no one about it before being interviewed in the survey.

Even among those who did speak to others about their experiences, most spoke to other family members, but only 25.3% reported it to the police. Those who did not seek help gave many reasons for not doing so, including not knowing their options, being embarrassed, ashamed or afraid they would not be believed or would be blamed, and/or thinking the violence was normal or not serious enough to seek help.

This highlights how heavily Sri Lanka’s culture of tolerance and tacit acceptance of violence against women and victim-shaming contributes to women being forced to endure their suffering in silence, with little to no help.

In addition, historically,Sri Lanka has a terrible track record when it comes to serving justice to victims of Gender-based Violence.Sri Lanka Police’s Grave Crime Abstract for the Year 2015 reveals that the police have recorded 379 rape cases of women over 16 years of age, but 365 cases were pending, while zero convictions have taken place.

When it comes to statutory rape (women under 16 years of age), while 1,654 cases have been recorded in 2015, 1,632 of them were still pending, and only one case has ended in a conviction. The same report for 2019 reveals that, unfortunately, the situation has not improved.

While the police have recorded 289 rape cases of women over 16 years of age, 278 cases were still pending, with investigations pending for 223 of them. Again, no convictions have taken place. The report also shows that 1,490 statutory rape cases have been recorded, of which 1,472 are pending, and only one conviction has been made.

Unsurprisingly, due to this situation, victims are hesitant to report instances of violence, as they have no faith in the justice system of protecting them and punishing the perpetrators. Anecdotal evidence shows that more often than not, reporting cases of violence only invites more violence from the abusers.

Tragically, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation grimmer. In a social media post, the World Food Program (WFP) highlighted that, since the COVID-19 related lockdowns in Sri Lanka started in March, the number of reported cases of violence against women increased four-fold in just one month from 123 to 460.

Once again, anecdotal evidence shows that the number of cases being reported is much smaller than the number of actual cases of violence. This is commonly referred to as the ‘shadow pandemic’ and is one of the most serious side-effects of the pandemic.

According to the World Bank, “forced coexistence, job loss, escalating stress and anxiety about the future has led to increased household tension, which turned many partners into abusers and exacerbated existing abuse.” As they are unable to leave home, victims are cannot access their safe spaces and seek legal or medical help, leaving them trapped with their abusers.

While Sri Lanka’s law and systems have so far failed to protect and safeguard women from facing violence – often in their own homes – it can no longer continue to brush the problem under the carpet.

It is 2020 and all evidence shows that this issue is getting worse, not better. Therefore, it is high time that authorities took decisive steps to bring perpetrators to justice and empower women to recognise their right to a life free of violence – thereby eliminating violence against women.

Shihara Maduwage works for Equal Ground, an equal rights organization.

*This article is written as a part of EQUAL GROUND’s 16 Days of Activism campaign.

Comments (2)

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  1. Amanda says:

    Perhaps you could end these kind of articles with how to get help if you are experiencing violence?

  2. Amanda says:

    Perhaps you could write where to turn to if someone is in need of support or help because of violence, are there any organisations or helplines?

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  1. Amanda says:

    Perhaps you could end these kind of articles with how to get help if you are experiencing violence?

  2. Amanda says:

    Perhaps you could write where to turn to if someone is in need of support or help because of violence, are there any organisations or helplines?

Sri Lanka could get hit from a disorderly US tumble

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is recovering fast but the country could get hit from an unravelling of advanced economies, particularly the United States, which is skating on very thin ice, after exceptionally bad monetary policy, which has destroyed fiscal metrics as well.

The US was running bad to atrocious monetary policy since 2001, when Ben Bernanke misled Alan Greenspan into printing money to run an 8-year cycle, firing a commodity and housing bubble which collapsed after rates were kept at around 5 percent for about a year.

That was the end of the Great Moderation started by Paul Volcker and continued with some skill under Greenspan, until the Fed was infected by Bernanke, the depression scholar. Keynes was also a ‘depression scholar’, in essence.

Gold prices fell from 800 to 284 dollars an ounce under Volcker-Bernanke, until Bernanke cooked up a false deflation scare with a healthy banking system and started to reverse it, firing the housing bubble and the Great Recession in its wake.

Then came quantity easing after the banking collapse and Frank-Dodd to control banks.

From around Covid and until March 2022, quantity easing resumed no holds-barred with fiscal policy also deteriorating as the government used the money.

It is now almost a year since interest rates have been at 5 percent in the US after Powell started to raise rates.

But this is not the US of 1980 or 2000, and it not just some companies but the government is chocked to the gills in debt after the MMT style stimulus and Covid handouts and perhaps the most aggressive ‘full employment’ policies in the history of the Fed.

Warning Signs

F A Hayek said this of Keynesianism and the policy rate to boost growth through full employment policies (now called targeting potential output in Sri Lanka).

“It was John Maynard Keynes, a man of great intellect but limited knowledge of economic theory, who ultimately succeeded in rehabilitating a view long the preserve of cranks with whom he openly sympathized.”

In continuing with quantitative easing with a healthy banking system, the Fed and the ECB is putting Keynes and John Law to shame.

It was perhaps no accident that the IMF taught Sri Lanka to calculate potential output a few years ago, with this ideology running high in Washington, eventually taking both the Yahapalana and Gotabaya Administration down and driving Sri Lanka to default.

There was an unprecedented overall deterioration of policy around the world that spread from the Fed and US universities, just like in did in the 1920s when the policy rate and deliberate open market operations were invented and the 1960s when its own anchor was busted .

From last year the US broad money supply has been shrinking in absolute terms, something that has rarely happened.

The Fed no longer looks at money supply, under their current framework.

Economist Steve Hanke, who was ad advisor to the Reagan Administration when the landmark action was taken to bring monetary stability back in the early 1980s, and kick-start non-inflationary growth, has pointed out that absolute falls in the money supply is very rare in the US.

Hanke also accurately predicted the 2022 inflation spike from Fed’s inflationism.

Bad Money, Bad Budgets

US budgets are shot.

After years of bad Fed monetary policy (which also helped Sri Lanka borrow in dollars from sovereign bond holders and China), US rates are going up and interest costs are rocketing like in Sri Lanka.

Is it possible for a US Treasuries auction to fail?

In theory no, since the Fed can buy it up as Sri Lanka’s central bank does to cut rates and trigger external crises.

But any such event can send bad vibes which can be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

The US Treasury had almost a perfect system going until around 2000, with the China and East Asia buying up US debt and importing the stability of the Great Moderation to become investment and export powerhouses.

But US Mercantilists who believe that exchange rate pegs made East Asia export powerhouses, at the expense of the US trade deficit, put pressure on China and other countries to break the peg, losing a big buyer of their debt.

IMF backed Self Destruction

The IMF fully supported these efforts.

China then broke the peg from around 2005 and diverted savings to the Belt and Road project.

When the housing bubble broke, China was in pretty good shape with tighter than US policy until then.

After quantity easing started US rates were low in any case. Sri Lanka was one of the countries that the money was diverted to.

Bond holders, also awash in liquidity started to buy crappy bonds from low rated countries which are now defaulting like dominoes.

The Fed, by triggering commodity bubbles and oil prices that tends to incentivize leaders of illiberal mineral rich countries into war, Arab Israeli wars or Russian aggression.

US dealt itself another blow during the Ukraine crisis.

The lack of knowledge in US policy circles was clearly shown by the freezing Bank of Russia reserves invested in the US.

It prevented Russia’s central bank from using reserves to mis-target rates and sterilizing the interventions with printed money, and helped Russia avoid a monetary meltdown.

Instead of printing money to mis-target rates after intervening to trigger a currency crises like repeated IMF backed countries and Latin America does, Bank of Russia hiked rates to 20 percent virtually the day after reserves were frozen and clean floated.

As a result, the US budget has lost another customer for its bonds. More to the point it has discouraged others from buying US bonds as well. If reserves are frozen, then countries which have bad relations with the US will no longer buy US bonds.

Clean floating countries will not collect reserves in any case.

The steeply rising gold prices now, are partly driven by central bank purchases, who would perhaps have bought more US bonds in the past. If more countries are driven to external crises though flexible inflation targeting, they will also sell US bonds.

The IMF has has started peddling flexible inflation targeting to Vietnam.

In the last Article IV consultation, the IMF also promoted expansionary fiscal policy dealing a death blow the central bank efforts to stabilize the external sector by replacing private credit with government credit.

Curiouser and Curiouser

There is another curious phenomenon seen in Fed statistics that should make people sit up and take notice.

The reserve balances component of the US monetary base (there is no longer a required reserve rule in the US amid the latest deterioration of its monetary framework) is climbing even as the Fed is engaged in quantity tightening.

This is clear liquidity preference behaviour, where the smart banks are getting ready for the worst instead of – say – buying government treasuries.

Sri Lanka saw a similar situation among the best managed foreign banks in Sri Lanka during the country’s ‘mother of all currency crises’.

Fed wants to quantity tighten, but banks are building up liquidity. Essentially the effect on the economy is the same – some banks are not lending. The difference is these banks may be smarter.

There seems to be two types of banks, which are acting in completely different ways in the US.

While some banks seem to be loading up on liquidity others are lending – at 5 percent plus.

Commercial bank credit which stopped growing and fell from the time the Fed started to tighten policy in March 2022 (a very quick response) has started to edge up over the past few months.

It is not clear who is taking the loans, at 5 percent plus which is a very high rate for a highly leveraged economy like the US. At least some of it must be going for commodity speculation.

Meanwhile gold has hit 2,400 dollars an ounce. Gold was only 284 dollars an ounce when Bernanke induced Greenspan to print money for positive inflation targeting by falsely firing a deflation scare in 2000.

There was some expectations by various technical analysts that gold will hit 2,400 an ounce. So, it can be a self-full filling prophecy.

Whatever it is, a commodity bubble at the tail end of a rate hiking cycle is not a good omen. A similar trend was seen just before the collapse of the housing bubble. It is like the dead cat bounce of the commodity world.

Soft-Landing or Disorderly Unravelling of the Powell Bubble?

In the Greenspan-Bernanke bubble it was HSBC’s housing unit in the US that showed that the system was rotten.

The jitters over the Iranian attacks show that US markets are skating on very thin ice.

It is not clear to what extent US companies are over-leveraged.  It was mostly a housing bubble that broke in 2008. But this time credit has shifted to other sector.

Government debt is one. The recent bank failures related to marked-to-market long-term government bonds confounding those who promote full reserve banking.

But there are signs that some other companies, including those in infrastructure which tended to be pretty safe, have borrowed and engaged in activities like leveraged dividend recapitalizations.

Over recent years there had been a spate of leveraged dividend recaps.

Jerome Powell said last week that the Fed will continue to tighten with inflation still high.

“The recent data do not, however, materially change the overall picture, which continues to be one of solid growth, a strong but rebalancing labor market, and inflation moving down toward 2 percent on a sometimes bumpy path,” he said.

“Labor market rebalancing is evident in data on quits, job openings, surveys of employers and workers, and the continued gradual decline in wage growth. On inflation, it is too soon to say whether the recent readings represent more than just a bump.

“We do not expect that it will be appropriate to lower our policy rate until we have greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably down toward 2 percent. Given the strength of the economy and progress on inflation so far, we have time to let the incoming data guide our decisions on policy.”

Under the Fed’s (historical) data driven monetary policy and its dual mandate (which by the way was generally ignored by both Volcker and Greenspan in favour of stability) there is no chance to cut rates, so he is justified in the stance.

But it does not necessarily mean that the historical data he is looking at will lead to a soft-landing or another deflationary collapse.

This time, the US government will have less room than in the past to engage in various macro-economic policies to manipulate the economy given its debt and the political crisis in Washington.

The banking system may also not respond to Fed actions as it had done in the past.

In earlier collapses, gold, dollar notes and US government debt were investments of choice for economic agents, as shown in Exter’s pyramid.

The US so-called ‘weaponizing’ of the dollar has reduced its attractiveness overseas, but not necessarily at home as shown by the recent liquidity preference behaviour.

Sri Lanka hit by bad US policy in the past

In past US monetary crises, whether the Great Depression, the 1960s inflationism (Sri Lanka first started its journeys to the IMF in the middle of that decade and passed the import control act), the 1971 collapse of the Bretton Woods (Sri Lanka closed the economy), the country has been hit.

In 1980s when US improved policy Sri Lanka failed to capitalize on it unlike dollar pegged East Asia.

From 1978, at the tail end of the Great Inflation period, Sri Lanka lost a credible anchor leading to high inflation and social unrest and missed stability that East Asia got by maintaining external anchors with the Fed improving its policy.

The US and the US dollar survived in 1951 and 1980 as hard money people got back into the driving seat and inflationist macro-economists lost favour.

However it did not happen in 2008. Things essentially got worse as it did in the 1930s with quantity easing infecting even once prudent reserve currency central banks, as Keynesianism and the policy rate did after the Great Depression, leading to mass devaluations in the 1930s.

It may be time to look for countermeasures. Sri Lanka at the moment is fixing its budgets and has reasonable monetary policy though the operational framework is deeply flawed. Companies and individuals may also need to hedge their bets.

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IMF urged Sri Lanka to preserve “hard earned gains” after economic crisis: State FinMin

ECONOMYNEXT – The International Monetary Fund has urged Sri Lanka to preserve the hard earned gains after an unprecedented economic crisis under the global lender’s programme, State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe said.

The Sri Lankan delegation led by Shehan Semasinghe met Kenji Okamura, the Deputy Managjng Director of the IMF on the first day of the IMF and  World Bank Spring meeting.

“Mr. Okamura commended the Sri Lankan authorities on strong programme implementation and excellent reform progress. He emphasised the need to preserve the hard earned gains Sri Lanka has experienced since the beginning of the IMF programme and continue strong ownership,” the State Minister said in his X (Twitter) platform.

He said the Sri Lankan delegation including Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe and Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana explained the recent socio-economic developments to Okamura.

He also affirmed the IMF top official on the authorities’ commitment to ensuring continuity and consistency of macroeconomic policies and reforms undertaken under the programme. (Colombo/April 16/2024)

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Sri Lanka State FinMin meets BCIU in US; discusses post-crisis investment prospects 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe met Business Council for International Understanding( BCIU) in Washington on the sideline of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings late on Monday and discussed investment prospects in the island nation which is gradually recovering from an unprecedented economic crisis.
“Our discussion centered on the potential that Sri Lanka offers for international investors. Explored various sectors, including education, tourism, renewable energy, agriculture and technology, where strategic investments can drive sustainable economic growth and development,” Semasinghe said in his X (Twitter) platform. 
“We reviewed the current macro-economic landscape of Sri Lanka, including recent reforms that have transformed to results. Glad to concluded the forum by marking constructive dialogue and a shared commitment to support the economic development of Sri Lanka.” 
“We thank participants, stakeholders holders and global partners for the significant interest shown in unlocking the full potential of the Sri Lankan economy and fostering greater international understanding and cooperation.” (Colombo/April 16/2024) 
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