Sunday, January 29, 2023
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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 29/11

  1. Govt to study Singapore’s “Misuse of Drugs Act” which includes the death penalty for drug trafficking: may bring similar laws to combat drug menace: however, no decision on introduction of capital punishment yet.
  2. Chairman of the Public Finance Committee Dr Harsha de Silva instructs officials of the Ministry of Finance and Trade to calculate and give the proper price at which an egg can be sold.
  3. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says SJB will take to the streets along with tens of thousands of people to protect democracy: also says “everything in this country now is working backwards”.
  4. State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe solemnly assures there will not be a domestic debt hair-cut: asserts “prudent economic fundamentals are being deployed towards economic stabilization and to raise the economic growth rate to around 7 to 8% in the next 2 years”.
  5. President of the Independent Engineers’ Association of the Electricity Board Nihal Weeraratne warns the country will have its longest power cut in history if sufficient stocks of coal are not received before 15th April: asserts 38 shipments with 60,000 MT of coal is required to meet current electricity needs, but only 4 received so far.
  6. Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina says many countries have asked for assistance from Bangladesh, after it helped Sri Lanka with the USD 200mn Currency SWAP, in August 2021.
  7. Chinese Embassy says another consignment of 1,000 MT (100,000 packs) of rice donated by China to Sri Lankan students has arrived: since June, a total of 8,000 MT of Chinese rice has been donated.
  8. CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe says new Act to “strengthen Central Bank independence” and thereby “curb monetary financing of the budget and place a check on inflation” is to be enacted shortly: new law said to be a “prior action” to “unlock the IMF deal” that is yet to take place even after 8-1/2 months of negotiation.
  9. More pilots leave SriLankan Airlines: puts carrier’s revival under pressure: compared to pre-COVID cadre of 318 pilots, the number had fallen to 265, post-COVID: current number down to 235, with nearly 40 to follow: Airline CEO Richard Nutall admits “the matter is of concern”.
  10. Police say an Easter Sunday Terror Attack suspect, 38, who was out on bail, hacked to death in Mattakkuliya by two persons who arrived in a vehicle.

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