Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila has sent the following clarification with regard to the Daily FT article titled “Govt. two-faced on debt: Harsha,” published on 14 January 2021:
Kindly be noted that the article has mentioned a different opinion to what was expressed by me and therefore it gives an incorrect message to the general public.
The fourth paragraph of the article quotes my fellow parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva mentioning I had appealed the creditors to rollover part of $ 6.86 billion of debt in 2021.
The 5th paragraph of the article quoted the parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva saying: “The Government sends State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal to Parliament where he paints a rosy picture of the economy and claims that the country doesn’t need to get assistance from organisations like the IMF to better manage debt repayments. Cabraal has stated that economic policies are working well, and that investor confidence is growing. But then we have the Cabinet Co-Spokesman Udaya Gammanpila making an appeal to creditors a few days later.”
I would like to clarify with utmost certainty that I have never appealed to creditors regarding the matter mentioned by Dr. Harsha de Silva MP. Further, I have only encouraged the creditors to rollover part of the debt due in 2021. I take this opportunity to challenge Dr. Harsha de Silva to prove his claim of me appealing to creditors, with evidence, without any further delay.