Sunday, February 5, 2023
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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 24/01

  1. Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena says the Election Commission will have to sell its building, chairs & tables and use the proceeds to fund the LG election”: Treasury Secretary gives affidavit to the Supreme Court that there’s no money for the election: Petroleum Corporation says it doesn’t have funds to provide fuel for the election: IGP says there is a shortage of officers for the election.
  2. Domestic LP Gas prices likely to increase by approximately Rs 500 per 12.5Kg cylinder in February, in line with global market prices.
  3. State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says Govt is struggling as the expenditure in January is Rs.625 bn while revenue is only Rs.145 bn: laments Govt can’t “print” any more money and there’s no one to give loans as well: some economists say the Govt is on the brink of default with T-Bills bunching to dangerously critical levels.
  4. Headline Inflation based on the National Consumer Price Index decreases to 59.2% in December 2022, compared to 65.0% in November: Food Inflation decreases to 59.3% in December, compared to 69.8% in November.
  5. State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe says providing relief to the poor is an essential factor in the IMF programme: expresses gratitude to creditors for their support in providing financial assurances as per the request of the IMF.
  6. Director, Biodiversity Secretariat Mrs R H M P Abeykoon says 81 of the country’s bird species are threatened with extinction with 19 species being “critically endangered” and 48 “endangered”: also says 32 bird species are “on the brink of extinction”.
  7. Govt source says Cabinet proposal being prepared to divest Govt stakes in 5 key SOEs – SriLankan Airlines, Telecom, Hilton, Waters Edge & SL Insurance: aim to raise USD 1.5 to 2.0 bn from the divestment: the Head of the Govt’s SOE Restructuring Unit is Suresh Shah, a former Director of Carsons & Lion Brewery owned by the influential Selvanathan family: Shah also lobbied strongly for the sovereign debt default.
  8. Human Rights Commission states the right to equality of the students sitting the GCE ‘A’ Level exam starting from 23rd January has been violated by the hours-long power cuts: asks Secretary, Ministry of Energy and PUC Chairman to instruct CEB to stop power-cuts during the exam period.
  9. Senior Adviser to the President on Food Security Dr. Suren Batagoda says the President intends to turn the poultry and egg industry into an export industry.
  10. FIFA Council suspends the Football Federation of Sri Lanka with effect from 21st January 2023.

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