Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 29/01

  1. Diplomatic sources reportedly claim China’s current offer to Sri Lanka of a 2-year debt moratorium is not suf­ficient for the IMF to approve a funding programme of USD 2.9 bn over 4 years: in early 2022, China had agreed to provide a USD 2.5 bn facility which was inexplicably spurned by the Sri Lanka Govt and Central Bank when the bankruptcy was hurriedly announced on 12th April 2022.
  2. President Ranil Wickremasinghe says the economic growth rate in 2022 was -11% and that it could be -3.5 or -4.0% this year: prior to the announcement of the bankruptcy, growth was estimated at +4.5% for 2022, and +5.0% for 2023: President also says economic growth will be positive from 2024.
  3. President Ranil Wickremasinghe says around 1.6 million income tax, VAT & national development tax files existed in 2019: laments the number of files reduced to around 400,000 by Dec’21 due to the tax concessions granted in 2020: says the decrease in government revenue due to this is the primary cause of the country’s economic crisis.
  4. State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says the IMF is the best and only alternative now: also says IMF has not imposed conditions and have merely provided guidance with the intention to strengthen the economy.
  5. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expected to visit Sri Lanka in early February on the President’s invitation: expected to sign several agreements on sustainable development and climate change: also expected to discuss the establishment of the proposed climate change university in Sri Lanka.
  6. Public Security Minister Tiran Alles says the Govt will introduce an electronic passport from this year: also says 54 branches of the immigration and emigration department will be established around the country.
  7. Public Security Minister Tiran Alles issues stern warning to drug racketeers to stop operations immediately: says steps would be taken to stop such criminals and destroy their operations.
  8. Founder and Chairperson Vice President Global Twins Multiple Birth Forum, Upuli Gamage says Sri Lanka is expecting thousands of twins and non-twin visitors including at least 30 contestants for a “Twins Miss and Mr World 2023” contest: expects the celebration to grab the attention of many countries.
  9. Another Member of the Election Commission M M Mohammed receives death threats: Commission Member S B Divaratna who received death threats earlier, receives death threats once again: Commission member K P P Pathirana had also received death threats previously.
  10. Attorney General’s Dept advises the Sports Ministry to request the Govt Auditor to conduct a comprehensive audit on Sri Lanka Cricket’s World Cup expenditure, before pressing for legal action.

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