Sunday, February 5, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 27/11

  1. Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina seeks Sri Lanka’s support for repatriation of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals, Rohingyas, to their ancestral lands in the Rakhine state of Myanmar: support sought when Foreign Minister Ali Sabry paid a courtesy call on her.
  2. Institute of Builders President Dr. Rohan Karunarathna says it’s “pathetic” for Govt to say the industry will have no work over the next 2 years: likens it to disruption caused by the ban on chemical fertiliser: claims over 600,000 persons have already been laid off: says it’s amusing how Govt anticipates these persons to survive on Rs.5,000 a month, after earning up to Rs.70,000.
  3. State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says travellers won’t be permitted to bring gold jewellery exceeding 22 karat gauge without approval of the Controller of Import & Exports: also says this decision will stop smuggling: claims smugglers illegally bring at least 50kg of gold per day, leading to a loss of USD 30 mn of forex per month.
  4. Commissioner General of Examinations reports 231,982 candidates who sat the GCE (O/L) exam in 2021 have qualified for GCE (A/L): 10,863 have obtained As in all subjects: results of 498 candidates temporarily suspended.
  5. Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal says ISB payment of USD 500 mn on 18th January 2022 was a Parliament-approved and budgeted debt repayment for 2022: also says such payment can’t be legally stopped by him: queries whether those who urged Sri Lanka to default are now taking responsibility for the serious repercussions that are following the default.
  6. Analyst Kusal Perera predicts over 30% of school children numbering about 1.4 mn will drop out of school in the beginning of next year due to their families being unable to have even 2 meals a day: attributes situation to Sri Lanka carrying out conditions laid down by the IMF.
  7. SJB MP Buddhika Pathirana alleges a large sum of money is earned by 2 political parties within the Govt by giving liquor licences to supermarkets: claims the alleged racket is carried out by a few officials at the Finance Ministry & Excise Dept.
  8. TNA MP Sumanthiran says Budget does not present a way out of the economic crisis: expresses concern that it allocates heavily towards defence: also says TNA refrained from voting against because the President had indicated he is willing to resolve the longstanding national question.
  9. Chairman of Cricket Selectors, Pramodya Wickremasinghe lashes out at his former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga: reminds that Captain Dasun Shanaka’s men clinched the Asia Cup: also says if the Sports Minister want his resignation, he will submit it, provided a valid reason is given.
  10. Central Bank data shows Govt Debt has increased by at least Rs. 3,900bn from 1st April to 25th November 2022 (239 days): total debt up from approximately Rs.21,700bn to approximately Rs.25,600bn, during that period: increase works out to a staggering Rs.16.3bn per day.

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