Sunday, February 5, 2023
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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 25/01

  1. The Foreign Employment Bureau contributes a sum of Rs. 03 billion from its operational surplus to the Treasury to use for essential services such as medicine, paddy and public servants’ salaries – Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara hands over the cheque to President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat.
  2. Supreme Court sentences Retd Maj Ajith Prasanna to 04 years of RI and fines him Rs. 300,000 over contempt of court – Prasanna and two naval intelligence officers accused of intimidating witnesses to an ongoing case against several navy personnel over the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths.
  3. Election Commission Chief Nimal Punchihewa clarifies on ‘still-pending’ gazette declaring the date of LG Polls – says the returning officers are responsible of declaring a date, not the EC – suggests the EC only approves a ‘schedule’ consisting of the date, the number of institutions, and the names of the political parties, the contenders and electoral divisions etc. ahead of a gazette – asserts the LG Polls will be held on March 09 as planned.
  4. SJB Trade Union Leader Ananda Palitha and Secretary of the Electricity Consumers Association Sanjeewa Dhammika arrested over intimidation and criminal coercion against two members of the PUCSL, Mohan Samaranayake and Udeni Wickramasinghe – remanded till Jan. 26.
  5. SLPP Founder and National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa launches political campaign for LG Polls – asserts SLPP will compete alone for 252 LG institutions and for a few others will contest in alliance with other parties this year.
  6. Power cuts approved by PUCSL continue despite criticism by many parties not to amidst the ongoing GCE Advanced Level Examination – Parents and social activists lament the government’s insensitivity towards children endangers their future.
  7. CAA to crack down on egg sellers for violating MRP declared by the government by selling eggs at a higher price amidst the ongoing struggle of poultry and egg industrialists due to scarcity of inputs; warns traders disobeying stipulated MRP that legal action will be taken against vendors violating the law – Gazette declaring new MRP says a white egg be sold at Rs. 44 and a brown egg, Rs. 46.
  8. CB Governor under fire for ‘misleading the public’ – Trade unions and professionals allege Weerasinghe misinterpreted the monetary law by stating ‘merchandise exporters can repatriate forex without having to convert such proceeds’; point out his comment seemingly withdraws his repeated accusations of exporters ‘stashing dollars overseas’; charge suppression of wages in the export sector as a whole is the fundamental factor enabling exporters to illegally retain incomes abroad; demand both the CBSL and the GOSL to take immediate action to repatriate any illegally transferred funds and bring the perpetrators to justice – Gazette Extraordinary No. 2251/42 dated 28.10.2021 stipulates ‘only service sector exporters are authorised by law to repatriate proceeds without conversion.’
  9. Reuters report claims China’s Exim Bank offered Sri Lanka a two-year moratorium on its debt and asserted it will support the country’s efforts to secure a US $2.9 billion loan from the IMF – Regional rivals China and India being the biggest bilateral lenders to Sri Lanka are said to be the variable to receiving IMF bailout.
  10. Secretary to the Ministry of Sports Amal Harsha De Silva says political influence into popular international games in Sri Lanka contributed to the FIFA ban; claims his many efforts to save Sri Lankan players from ‘international harassment’ failed; laments Sri Lankan sport teams have lost international recognition due to parties with little or no knowledge about sports.

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