Cabinet Co-Spokesman Minister Dullas Alahapperuma says that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should not be viewed as an evil entity if Sri Lanka decides to seek the support of the crisis lender.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing yesterday (19), Media Minister Alahapperuma pointed out that Sri Lanka had obtained assistance on 16 occasions as a stakeholder of the IMF since 1950.

He said that in 2008, at a critical juncture of the civil war, the country received USD 2.5 billion, the highest amount received to date. He also noted that Sri Lanka had negotiated its last facility amounting to USD 1.1 billion in 2016.

The Minister said that the Cabinet of Ministers has not reached a final decision on whether to seek assistance from IMF.

Responding to a question raised by a journalist regarding how Sri Lanka sourced the USD 500 million International Sovereign Bond (ISB) that was settled on January 18, the Minister said that despite many predicting a debt default, Sri Lanka was able to honour its debt obligations.
Alahapperuma also commended the role played by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa to secure assistance from India.