Sunday, February 5, 2023
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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 06/11

  1. SLPP”s P. Wanniarachchi, C.B. Ratnayake and S.M. Chandrasena, together with J. Thondaman (CWC), D. Dissanayake (SLFP), and W. Abeywardene (UNP), tipped to be appointed soon as Cabinet Ministers: 2 or 3 from SJB also expected to join.
  2. State Minister Shehan Semasinghe says all main bilateral creditors including China participated in latest debt restructuring talks: also says process to obtain IMF loan is in final stage and IMF Board approval likely by year-end.
  3. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith says there would be a negative impact when approaching the IMF: cautions against “bowing down” to IMF: asks people not to vote for politicians insensitive to their issues.
  4. Official Reserve Assets dip further by 4.2% to USD 1,704 mn in Oct 22 from USD 1,779 mn in Sept 22: Forex debts accumulated but unpaid for 2nd & 3rd quarters of 2022 estimated at USD 3.2 bn: earlier “expert economist” claims that Reserves will increase if debt is defaulted, debunked.
  5. Central Bank’s T-Bill holdings (“Money printing”) under Governor Weerasinghe’s first 210 days records a staggering Rs.713 bn: average of Rs.3.4 bn per day, even after interest rate has been nearly tripled: 54% higher than the “per day” average under Governors Cabraal and Lakshman.
  6. PM Dinesh Gunawardene appoints 5-member National Delimitation Committee to demarcate wards for local authorities: Chairman to be Mahinda Deshapriya.
  7. Tourist Hotels Assn President M Shanthikumar says tourist hotels are faring badly: notes tourist arrivals are far below expectations: hotel managers say there’s not much hope for the remaining 2 months in the year.
  8. State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya says Sri Lanka is likely to receive USD 100 mn “infrastructure investment” by Canadian diaspora into Small and Medium Enterprises: no details given.
  9. San Diego Zoo announces that it has euthanized Sri Lanka born 45-year-old she-elephant “Devi” because of deteriorating health.
  10. England beat Sri Lanka in the last ICC T20 Cricket World Cup Group 1 match: SL 141/8 (20 overs): ENG 144/6 (19.4 overs): New Zealand and England qualify for the Semi-Finals from the Group.

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