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SRI LANKA ORIGINAL NARRATIVE SUMMARY: 23/09

  1. Minister Dr Bandula Gunawardene says the Government does not have sufficient funds to pay salaries of Government employees: also says it is not even possible to “print money” because of the “debt restructuring” being carried out via the IMF.
  2. Speaker says President informed him that the Cabinet, Opposition and interested parties will be briefed on the IMF Staff Level Agreement before it goes to the IMF Board for approval.
  3. State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe says the meeting with external creditors by the Government and its advisors, is the first such discussion: asserts it’s not possible to disclose details to Parliament.
  4. Envoys from 23 countries attend Forum on debt restructuring: assure support to obtain assistance from IMF for Sri Lanka to recover from the economic crisis.
  5. SLPP MP Professor G L Peiris says the government is now trying to silence critics in Parliament: expresses concern that the 13 SLPP MPs who joined the opposition ranks are not allocated time to speak.
  6. President Ranil Wickremesinghe visits the International Book Fair at the BMICH.
  7. CB Governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe warns the country is not out of the woods: during his near 6 months in office so far, foreign debt defaulted: additional Rs.398bn interest incurred by government: inflation up from 18% to 70%: Rupee down from 299 to 370 per USD: “money printing” up by Rs.643bn: “bridging finance” not sourced: “on account” payments stopped: and IMF programme not finalized.
  8. SLPP MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage says Sri Lanka’s military strength at 247,000 personnel is too expensive to maintain: wants reserve force to be considered: laments Rs.100bn is spent on their food.
  9. Extended expiry date of the stock of over 6 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines due end on 31st October 2022.
  10. UNP MP Wajira Abeywardene says President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to Japan next week is important to rebuild the country’s economy: also says President Wickremesinghe is the only present leader in Sri Lanka who has
    international recognition.

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