President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (08) commended three women for being instrumental in helping Sri Lanka during its troubled period.

He named them as India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US treasury secretary Janet Yellen and IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva.

The president was speaking at the International Women’s Day celebration held at Waters’ Edge in Battaramulla. Elaborating further, he said,

“When reflecting upon those who contributed to freeing the people from the sufferings experienced during the past, I think it is important to mention the names of three women who played a significant role.”

I would like to acknowledge Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister of India, who played a vital role in providing a US$3 billion loan to Sri Lanka after the country was declared bankrupt last April.

Her decision to discuss the matter with the prime minister and the cabinet and to provide the loan to a country in such a dire financial state was a remarkably courageous act.

Without the availability of those funds during those three to four months, the current situation in the country would be far more challenging and for that we must express our gratitude to her.

Additionally, a crucial role was played by several key countries in supporting us during this challenging time.

Notably, our talks with the US, led by Janet Yellen, the treasury secretary were instrumental in securing aid for our country.

I extend my sincere gratitude to her for her efforts in this matter.

I must also mention that Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, made a personal sacrifice for Sri Lanka by taking the lead to negotiate with the countries, the Paris Club, the World Bank and others.”

If these three women had not supported us, we would have been in a dire situation."


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