Saturday, March 25, 2023
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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 04/01

  1. Chairman Election Commission announces that the notice calling for nominations for Local Government elections will be issued to District Returning Officers today (4th Jan’23).
  2. Tourism State Minister Diana Gamage says Sri Lanka will be made a destination for international events to attract tourists: asserts that is being worked on, right now: also says a few events will be started this year that will continue for many generations.
  3. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam says all political parties that are in alliance with the SLPP will compete in the upcoming local government elections under the “Pohottuwa” symbol.
  4. Former CB Governor A N Cabraal calls for a substantial reduction in interest rates: warns of a major catastrophe if that is not done immediately: asserts the “fixed” exchange rate policy followed over the past 7 months is correct, but wants the Rupee fixed at a lower rate to the USD: asserts the current highly damaging “debt default policy” must be urgently reversed.
  5. President Ranil Wickremesinghe calls for explanations from the heads of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and SriLankan Airlines regarding payment of bonuses to employees, despite the Finance Ministry informing loss-making corporations and boards not to pay bonuses to employees.
  6. A Finance Ministry “senior spokesperson” says if an election is held this year, the government will not have money to even buy paddy in the next Season: asserts if it is not possible to buy paddy, there’s a risk of the paddy market collapsing: warns the farmer will then be in a helpless situation.
  7. Finance Ministry makes sharp increase of 20% in Excise Duty with immediate effect: consequent price increases will be – 750ml Special Arrak (Rs. 206), locally brewed foreign liquor (Rs.266), Beer (Rs.21 to Rs.39), cigarettes per stick – Rs.85 to Rs.100, Rs. 90 to Rs.105, Rs.70 to Rs.80, Rs.60 to Rs.70 & Rs.15 to Rs.24.
  8. Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane expresses concern that Intelligence Units were unaware of gangster Kanjipani Imran’s escape to India: Imran was arrested in Dubai in 2019 for alleged murder & criminal intimidation and thereafter remanded: recently, a local Court granted him bail on 2 sureties of Rs.5 mn each.
  9. MD of Express Newspapers Kumar Nadesan to receive the “Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award” given by the President of India to honour exceptional and meritorious contributions in their chosen field or profession in India or abroad.
  10. India beats Sri Lanka by 2 runs in the 1st T20 International Cricket match played in Mumbai: IND – 162/5 (20): SL – 160 all out (20), (Dasun Shanaka 45, Kusal Mendis 28, Chamika Karunaratne 23*).

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