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Interview

Sri Lanka president urges China to change tune on debt as IMF visits

In interview, Wickremesinghe says creditors 'must sing from same hymn sheet'

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe speaks to Nikkei Asia in Colombo on Aug. 23. (Photo by Ryosuke Hanada)

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka is urging China to dramatically change its stance on debt relief, President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Nikkei Asia in an exclusive interview, conceding that reaching a deal will be no simple task.

The appeal to China, the bankrupt Indian Ocean nation's largest bilateral lender, has emerged as a formidable challenge to Wickremesinghe, who is leading the country's financial team as it attempts to rebuild an economy starved of foreign reserves and mired in misery. The effort is likely to feature prominently in a fresh round of discussions between Colombo and International Monetary Fund representatives arriving Wednesday.

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