Sri Lanka leader says IMF deal imminent after China’s pledge

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president says China has given crucial debt restructuring assurances that mean the bankrupt nation could get its bailout package approved soon. President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament on Tuesday that he has sent a letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund, which he expected to act this month. China owns about 10% of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt, and its delayed assurances were seen as the last hurdle to securing the $2.9 billion bailout package. Sri Lanka’s economic crisis caused severe shortages of fuel and other goods, leading to angry street protests that forced the then-president to flee from the country and resign. The economy now shows signs of improvement.