Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 12/01

  1. World Bank says Sri Lanka’s output (GDP) is estimated to have fallen by 9.2% in 2022: highest decline since independence.
  2. Foreign Ministry summons Canadian High Commissioner to the Foreign Ministry and registers strong protest against the designation of the Former Presidents Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa for sanctions by the Canadian Govt.
  3. Former President Maithripala Sirisena’s SLFP, SLPP MPs Dullas Alahapperuma, Wimal Weerawansa, Anura Yapa and several more political factions form a new coalition called “Nidahasa Janatha Sandhanaya”.
  4. Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr Bandula Gunawardane says the IMF and other lending bodies have asked Sri Lanka not to print more money: laments the Govt is therefore finding it impossible to conduct most basic functions: in CB Governor Weerasinghe’s first 268 days in office upto 31st Dec’22, a staggering Rs.868 bn had been printed: such rate of printing has been 45% higher than under his predecessors, even while defaulting debt.
  5. CB Governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe tells BBC that China and India must agree to a write-down of their loans as soon as possible: US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung asserts the greater onus is on China as the biggest bilateral lender: also says the US hopes that China does not delay because Sri Lanka needs these assurances immediately.
  6. President Ranil Wickremesinghe meets US Senior Director for South Asia, National Security Council Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher who expresses the US appreciation for the economic recovery efforts being undertaken by the President.
  7. Police Computer Crimes Division arrests the woman Adarsha Karandana who accused President’s Parliamentary Secretary Professor Ashu Marasinghe of bestiality through a video made public: arrest based on a complaint lodged by Professor Marasinghe.
  8. Elections Commission Chairman Nimal Punchihewa says the date of the Local Govt Election will be fixed after receiving nominations.
  9. SCB Research report says IMF approval for the 4-year USD 2.9 bn facility could be as late as Q2 of 2023: expects negotiations with commercial creditors to be pushed back to H2 of 2023 and a restructuring deal to be reached only by end-2023: warns of severe risks of disruptions to the programme even after the first approval, as periodic disbursements will be contingent on meeting benchmarks.
  10. Supreme Court affirms conviction and sentence imposed by the Permanent
    High Court against former President Maithripala Sirisena’s Chief of Staff Kusumdasa Mahanama and State Timber Corporation Chairman Piyadasa Dissanayaka in the “Kantale sugar factory bribery case” in 2018: Mahanama received 20-years RI and Dissanayaka 12-years.

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