Sunday, February 5, 2023
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SRI LANKA ORIGINAL NARRATIVE SUMMARY: 02/12

  1. Fitch downgrades Sri Lanka’s Long-Term Local-currency debt rating by two notches to “CC” from “CCC”: cites probable local-currency debt default in the face of high interest costs and tight domestic financing conditions: foreign currency debt rating is already at ‘RD’ or in default territory.
  2. President Ranil Wickremesinghe says Sri Lanka can be made a “regional hub” for education.
  3. State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe says the deadline for filing income tax returns has been extended by another week from 30th November: no penalty to be charged during that period.
  4. Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando says Sri Lanka aims to attract 1.5mn tourists in 2023: expects several airlines to fly into the island: also says the real objective is to achieve around 3 mn tourists in 2024.
  5. PUC Chairman Janaka Ratnayake says crisis brewing re. procurement of coal for the Norochcholai Coal Power-Plant: says 38 coal shipments are needed before 30th April 2023: warns of extended power cuts if procurement is not done in time: risk exists that state-run Lanka Coal Company may not have sufficient rupee or forex funds to pay for those purchases.
  6. Sri Jayewardenepura University Professor Meththika Vithanage contradicts Foreign Minister Ali Sabry’s claim that the burial of Covid-19 victims could have been allowed, but not done due to opinions expressed by experts: queries as to why the Govt listened to expert opinions only in this case and not in others.
  7. PUC Chairman Janaka Ratnayake says the Electricity Board has not requested an electricity tariff revision and there is also no requirement for a tariff revision at this time.
  8. Members of the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus promote activism to end violence against women and girls: call upon government and all other stakeholders to unite to fight against such violence.
  9. State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon says the tri-forces will not be downsized, but right-sized.
  10. CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe asks banks not to compete with each other for deposits: laments some banks are offering 30% for deposits, while 3-month T-Bills at CBSL auctions are today at over 33%.

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