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Sri Lanka crisis

Sri Lanka counts down to IMF bailout seen as 'just the beginning'

Tough reforms of state enterprises await after Monday decision on $2.9bn package

Patients wait for doctors at a hospital during a general strike in Colombo on March 15. Many Sri Lankans hope that IMF approval will kick-start an economic recovery.   © Reuters

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka is counting the minutes to Monday, when the International Monetary Fund's executive board is expected to approve a $2.9 billion bailout for the bankrupt island nation.

For the first time in months, many are hopeful that the IMF's decision will kick-start the country's recovery from its worst economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.

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