Sunday, February 5, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative: 06/12

1. Fitch Ratings’ decision to cut SL’s local Credit Rating by 2 notches from “CCC” to “CC” attributed by experts to probability of a local debt default in view of untenably high domestic interest rates: within hours of assuming office, Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe doubled interest rates on 8th April 2022.

2. Asian Development Bank VP Shixin Chen meets PM Dinesh Gunawardane: says international monetary agencies are impressed with the strength of Sri Lankan leadership and its commitment to achieve speedy economic revival through reforms.

3. Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera says the production cost of a unit of electricity will be Rs.56.90 if the country were to have uninterrupted power supply in 2023: calls for across-the-board sale price of Rs.56.90 per unit with a cash allowance to low income families: as per CEB data, the current average tariff for a unit is Rs.29.14 and the deficit is Rs.423.5 bn.

4. SLPP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa says selection of Ranil Wickremesinghe as President was the right choice: also says every party and opposition group should be able to engage in politics freely: expects economic and other problems to be solved in the future: asserts SLPP has not been divided.

5. Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal points out that the Sri Lanka Rupee has been “fixed” since 12th May 2022 by current CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe for the past 207 days at around Rs.370 per USD: asserts there has been no increase in net forex inflows from exports or remittances compared to inflows when the Rupee was “fixed” at around Rs.200 per USD during the Cabraal tenure.

6. Institute of Policy Studies’ Dushni Weerakoon calls for reforms in economic resources – labour, land, money and entrepreneurship: expresses disappointment that Budget 2023 did not contain measures to strengthen these factors.

7. Minister of Education Susil Premajayanth says the Ministry is assessing the possibility of providing sarees free of charge to women teachers who are unable to buy sarees due to economic hardships.

8. Colombo Chief Magistrate dismisses private complaint that sought an order to arrest Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon on dereliction of duty charges re. the incidents near Temple Trees and at Galle Face on 9th May.

9. Family of Sri Lankan Rajan Moonesinghe who was fatally shot by US Texas Police last month on his front porch, seek answers: video and audio said to show Texas Police officers yelling “drop your gun”, and then firing at Moonesinghe, who was holding a weapon.

10. Lanka Premier Cricket League 3rd Edition to kick-off today at Hambantota: 42 Sri Lankan cricketers and 30 overseas players to compete.

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