Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 18/01

  1. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson says China will continue to play a positive role in helping SL navigate the situation: also says it expects Sri Lanka to make independent efforts to uphold legitimate rights and interests of foreign investment and financing partners, and maintain stability and credibility of its investment and financing environment.
  2. PM’s Media reports that the visiting Head of the Communist Party of China, Vice Minister Chen Zhou has informed PM Dinesh Gunawardena that Sri Lanka is a very special friend of China and China is considering how it could assist Sri Lanka to get over the current crisis.
  3. Bloomberg News announces India has formally notified that it will support Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring plan.
  4. President Ranil Wickremasinghe says the Independence Day celebration expenditure is an investment for the future and in the 25 years leading up to the 100th independence, many new institutions and laws will be introduced for the country’s reform programme.
  5. US Navy and Marine Corps to conduct Readiness and Training Marine Exercises with the Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force from 19–26 January: exercise designed to “promote regional security cooperation, maintain & strengthen maritime partnerships, and enhance maritime interoperability”: training to be in Colombo, Trincomalee and Mullikullam.
  6. SJB MP S M Marikkar says although it was claimed the current President would receive international support and rebuild the economy, at the time he was appointed, it has not happened even after 7 months: also says fuel is now rationed, people consume less food, and power cuts continue: laments nothing has changed since Wickremesinghe became President.
  7. President Ranil Wickremasinghe assures measures would be taken to allocate Rs.30-40 bn to purchase medicines this year, despite the difficult economic background.
  8. Controversial Youtuber Sepal Amarasingha who was arrested for his defamatory statements on the Sacred Tooth Relic further remanded till 31st January: IUSF Convener, Wasantha Mudalige also further remanded until 31st January 31.
  9. President Ranil Wickremesinghe assures the due payment of salaries of all public servants over the span of a few days, although it is not possible to pay the salaries of all public servants in one day: adds the payment of Pensions and Samurdhi allowances will be the Govt’s 2nd & 3rd priorities.
  10. Tourism Development Authority Chairperson Priantha Fernando says 240,000 tourists from China are expected in 2023, despite fears of a new Covid-19 strain in China: also expects Chinese tourist numbers to pick up after February, following their New Year.

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