The Chinese government has offered a two-year moratorium to Sri Lanka to repay it’s debt, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
The offer, which came in a letter to President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as Finance Minister, was China’s official response to Sri Lanka’s long-standing request for a commitment on debt restructuring.
“It is learnt that the letter also extends China’s support to the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and requests the IMF to go ahead with the discussions on debt restructuring that will lead to an IMF programme,” the newspaper said.
At the same time, a scanned copy of a letter, claiming to be the original letter to the president from the Chinese embassy, has been circulating on social media for several days.
But now, issuing a clarification via Twiter, the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka said the letter under its official letter head, is a forged document.
“Please follow the official sources of information,” the Chinese embassy advised.
There was no response by China, however, on the Sunday Times report about the letter to the president or the request for debt restructuring by Sri Lanka governmet, in general.
China, India and Japan are the main bilateral lenders for Sri Lanka.
There have recently been a global call by more than 180 prominent economists and development experts to Sri Lanka’s financial lenders to forgive its debt, but some other experts are not convinced it is the best way forward for Sri Lanka.