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LSSP and CPSL felicitate Communist Party of China on 100th anniversary

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DEW Gunasekera addressing the meeting at the headquarters in Borella

 

By Shiran Illanperuma

Sri Lankan political leaders from the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), joined 10 other political parties in lauding the centenary achievements of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at a virtual conference on Tuesday.

The Communist Party of Sri lanka (CPSL) hosted a multi-party virtual conference from its headquarters in Borella on Tuesday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC.

“We in Sri Lanka are having a fitting gathering to mark the great event. Not only all major political streams, but all major ethnic groups are represented at this historic meeting,” CPSL General Secretary G. Weerasignhe said in an introductory speech.

CPSL veteran and former General Secretary DEW Gunasekara conveyed revolutionary greetings to the CPC’s leadership and its nearly 92 million members. He said that the formation of the CPC in 1921, four years after the Russian Revolution, was a milestone in the entry of Marxism into Asia.

Gunasekera praised the CPC for its twenty-eight-year-long struggle which culminated in the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. “In applying Marxism to the concrete conditions of China, the CPC successfully brought about an alliance of anti-imperialist and anti-feudal democratic forces,” he said.

Gunasekara said that China had embarked on its first five-year plan amidst embargos, sanctions and continued military aggression in Asia. He said the acceleration of globalisation and technological advancement made the CPC re-evaluate the potential of capitalism, and the collapse of the Soviet Union reinforced the need for a new economic strategy.

“The self-critical assessment of the Chinese Communist Party with regard to the lost decades due to left deviationist policies was another salutary theoretical contribution made by the Chinese Communist Party. The three-pronged new economic strategy of planning, market and state intervention has been proved viable and effective by the 40 year accelerated development of the Chinese economy,” Gunasekara said.

He said that the CPC had brought radical change in the balance of economic order and contributed to the rise of Asia. He said that China’s resilience in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, its eradication of poverty, and investments via the Belt and Road Initiative have demonstrated the strength of the Chinese model and earned global admiration.

“All these remarkable achievements were possible due to the dynamic political leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. They have not only sharpened the main contradiction between imperialism and the world community but also intensified the internal contradictions in the imperialist camp,” Gunasekera said.

Tissa Vitarana, General Secretary of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the oldest political party and first socialist party in Sri Lanka, conveyed fraternal greetings to the CPC. He thanked China for donating doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka, and said that the LSSP wishes to strengthen bonds with the CPC.

“The USA and its allies have unleashed a Chinaphobia claiming that your intention is military conquest, not just trade. The truth is obvious, the USA has 403 military bases around China alone, with over a thousand worldwide. China’s only foreign base is in Djibouti, to fight the Somalian pirates,” Vitarana said.

“The USA cannot tolerate the fact that one of the world’s poorest third world countries in the 19th century is surpassing it. The Third World countries of the collapsing capitalist world are turning to socialist China for leadership,” he said.

“Like you, we want to see an end to capitalism, with its poverty and its perpetual threat to peace, and to join you and other socialist and communist parties to establish socialism globally,” Vitarana said.

The CPSL lobbied post-independence governments to establish diplomatic ties with Communist countries including China. The CPSL aligned with Moscow during the Sino-Soviet split but maintained cordial relations with the CPC thereafter.

 

 



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Pakistan’s ex-president, Pervez Musharraf dies aged 79

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(picture BBC)

BBC reported that Pakistan’s former president General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, has died aged 79.

The former leader – who was president between 2001 and 2008 – died after a long illness, a statement from the country’s army said.

He had survived numerous assassination attempts, and found himself on the front line of the struggle between militant Islamists and the West.

He supported the US “war on terror” after 9/11 despite domestic opposition.

In 2008 he suffered defeat in the polls and left the country six months later.

When he returned in 2013 to try to contest the election, he was arrested and barred from standing. He was charged with high treason and was sentenced to death in absentia only for the decision to be overturned less than a month later.

He left Pakistan for Dubai in 2016 to seek medical treatment and had been living in exile in the country ever since.

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The 75th Anniversary of National Independence celebrated under the patronage of President, PM

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(picture Presidents Media)

The 75th National Independence Day celebration was held under the theme “Namo Namo Mata – A Step towards the Century”, under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Saturday morning (04) at Galle Face Green.

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Lanka sovereign bond holders write to the IMF

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ECONOMYNEXT –Sri Lanka’s bondholders have written to the International Monetary Fund expressing their willingness to engage in debt re-structuring talks but also raising matters related to the domestic debt re-structuring and economic assumptions and forecasts.

The group, styling itself as the “Ad Hoc Group of Sri Lanka Bondholders (the Bondholder Group) has written last week to the IMF Managing Director from New York said inter alia that the Bondholder Group through its Steering Committee stands ready to engage quickly and effectively with the Sri Lankan authorities to design and implement restructuring terms that would help Sri Lanka restore debt sustainability and allow the country to re-gain access to the international capital markets during the IMF Programme period.

The letter concluded with the paragraph: Recognizing the important commitments made by India in the India Letter, the Sri Lankan authorities will apply the principle of comparable treatment in respect of the debt relief requested and obtained from all their remaining official bilateral creditors.

Following is the text of the letter:

NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2023

Dear Managing Director Georgieva,The Ad Hoc Group of Sri Lanka Bondholders (the “Bondholder Group”) acknowledges the Sri Lankan authorities’ engagement with their official creditors towards a resolution of the current crisis and restoration of debt sustainability.

The Bondholder Group further acknowledges that such engagement has recently resulted in the Government of India (in its letter to the IMF, dated January 16, 2023 (the “India Letter”)) delivering letters of financing assurances, committing to support Sri Lanka and contribute to its efforts to restore debt sustainability by providing debt relief and financing consistent with the IMF Extended Fund Facility Arrangement (the “IMF Programme”) and the IMF Programme targets indicated in the India Letter.

Similarly, the Bondholder Group through its Steering Committee stands ready to engage quickly and effectively with the Sri Lankan authorities to design and implement restructuring terms that would help Sri Lanka restore debt sustainability and allow the country to re-gain access to the international capital markets during the IMF Programme period.

Based on the limited information available to us at this time, including information contained in the India Letter, we understand that the IMF Programme’s debt sustainability targets are identified as

(i) reducing the ratio of public debt to GDP to 95% by 2032,

(ii) limiting the central government’s annual gross financing needs to GDP ratio to 13% in the period between 2027 and 2032, and central government annual foreign currency debt service at 4.5% of GDP in every year between 2027 and 2032 and

(iii) closing of the external financing gap.

The Bondholder Group hereby confirms it is prepared to engage, through its Steering Committee, with the Sri Lankan authorities in restructuring negotiations consistent with the parameters of an IMF Programme and the targets specified therein (the “IMF Programme Targets”), which the Bondholder Group understands to be the targets identified in the India Letter; it being recognized that these negotiations will necessarily be further informed by the receipt of the forthcoming DSA.

We would note that the finalization of an agreement will also be subject to the satisfaction of the following conditions:

The central government’s domestic debt – defined as debt governed by local law – is reorganized in a manner that both ensures debt sustainability and safeguards financial stability.

Assuming that annual gross financing needs should not exceed 13% of GDP in the period between 2027 and 2032, whilst allowing for central government annual foreign currency debt service to reach 4.5% of GDP in every year between 2027 and 2032, domestic gross financing should therefore be limited at 8.5% of GDP for the period 2027-2032.

While we recognize that the determination of the economic assumptions underpinning the IMF Programme Targets is ultimately the responsibility of the IMF and that the overall design of the IMF Programme is one that is negotiated between the IMF and Sri Lanka, it is nevertheless important that the Bondholder Group has the opportunity to express its views on both the economic assumptions underpinning these IMF Programme Targets and the adequacy and feasibility of the adjustment efforts contemplated under the IMF Programme.

When considering any restructuring proposal that is made to the Bondholder Group, it is the Bondholder Group’s intention to take into consideration the extent to which the economic assumptions and the adjustment efforts are consistent with these views.

Recognizing the important commitments made by India in the India Letter, the Sri Lankan authorities will apply the principle of comparable treatment in respect of the debt relief requested and obtained from all their remaining official bilateral creditors.

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