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Sri Lanka working flat out for China, Japan, India debt deals

Foreign minister says 'we cannot force anyone' as IMF bailout hangs in balance

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Ali Sabry says the country's bilateral lenders are "aware" of the urgency for debt restructuring.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- Dollar-strapped Sri Lanka is racing against time to secure a diplomatic breakthrough with China, Japan and India, the bilateral lenders who have yet to come up with a debt restructuring blueprint that would allow the South Asian nation to unlock a $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Colombo hopes to be able to go to the IMF's board in December armed with "creditor assurances." To this end, its behind-the-scenes diplomacy toward its leading Asian lenders is in overdrive, involving the president, cabinet ministers and central bank officials, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry told Nikkei Asia in an exclusive interview.

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