Sri Lanka economy slowly recovering from Easter attacks

The tourism sector was negatively affected after the terror attacks which killed more than 250 people. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 November 2019

Sri Lanka economy slowly recovering from Easter attacks

  • Sri Lanka estimates their loss at around $1.5 bn in tourism
  • Official figures show that Sri Lanka will have to repay a record $5.9 billion in foreign loans this year

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s economy was slowly recovering from the impact of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed hundreds and crippled the booming tourism sector, the International Monetary Fund said Saturday.
Growth was likely to hit 3.5 percent next year from this year’s forecast of 2.7 percent, the Washington-based lender said, compared to 3.2 percent in 2018.
The country estimates it will lose about $1.5 billion in tourism revenue this year as a result of a sharp dip in arrivals following the extremists’ attacks on churches and hotels, which killed at least 269 people.
“The authorities are taking actions to mitigate the revenue shortfalls caused by the terrorist attacks and preserve the hard-won gains made under the program,” said IMF deputy managing director Mitsuhiro Furusawa in a statement.
Furusawa’s comments coincided with the latest tranche of a $1.5 billion IMF bailout package for Sri Lanka first approved in 2016.
He warned that Sri Lanka would need to maintain fiscal discipline in order to rein in public debt, while acknowledging the need for urgent social and investment spending.
Sri Lanka votes in presidential polls on November 16 and parliamentary elections next year, raising fears of welfare spending at the cost of a budget black hole.
Official figures show that Sri Lanka will have to repay a record $5.9 billion in foreign loans this year.


Apple, Google drop Fortnite from app stores over payments

Updated 52 min 4 sec ago

Apple, Google drop Fortnite from app stores over payments

  • Google said Fortnite will remain available on Android, just not through its app store
  • Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases in games

NEW YORK: Apple and Google dropped the popular game Fortnite from their app stores after the game’s developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses their platforms.
Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases in games, which has long been a sore spot with developers.
Fortnite is free, but users can pay for in game accoutrements like weapons and skins. Its developer, Epic Games, said in a blog post Thursday that it was introducing Epic Direct payments, a direct payment plan for Apple’s iOS and Google Play. Epic said the system is the same payment system it already uses to process payments on PC and Mac computers and Android phones.
Apple and Google said the service violates their guidelines.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” Apple said in statement.
Google said Fortnite will remain available on Android, just not through its app store. Android users can download the app from other app stores, although that’s generally not an option for iPhone users.
Epic Games did not immediately return a request for comment. Epic’s Fortnite Twitter account said the company would debut a new short film called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite,” a seeming parody of Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial that introduced the Macintosh computer. It has also filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court in Northern California for dropping Fortnite.