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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 08/02

  1. Government Medical Officers’ Association to launch a 24-hour token strike from 8 am today to protest over the income tax hike; however essential services including children’s hospitals and cancer hospitals to continue without disruption.
  2. President’s Office says Paris Club members have expressed commitment to negotiate a debt restructuring with Sri Lanka in accordance with “the comparability of treatment principle and with the goal of restoring debt sustainability”: also says Saudi Arabia and India have “expressed support to provide financing assurances”: further say “the Paris Club members have urged other official bilateral creditors, including China, to do the same in line with IMF program parameters”.
  3. “Yuthukama” Leader Gevindu Cumaratunga MP insists the 13th Amendment to the Constitution should be abolished: also emphasizes that President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s declaration to fully implement the amendment is not acceptable to the vast majority of people.
  4. President Ranil Wickremesinghe accepts resignation of Elections Commission Member Ms. P S M Charles.
  5. Central Bank says Sri Lanka’s total official reserve assets increased to USD2,120 mn in Jan’23 compared to USD1,898 mn in Dec’22; reserve includes USD1.4 bn SWAP from the People’s Bank of China: meanwhile, Lanka Coal Company desperately seeks USD 12.3 mn to pay for outstanding coal shipments
  6. Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya says Parliament should arrive at a decision whether LG Elections should be held at this challenging period.
  7. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna National Organizer and former Minister Basil Rajapaksa says he is ready to get rid of his US citizenship or anything else if it becomes an obstacle to his future political activities.
  8. Finance State Minister Dr Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says no permission will be given to cut and remove iron from the ship MV X-Press Pearl which caught fire and sank in Sri Lankan waters.
  9. SJB MPs and dissident SLPP MPs to boycott the ceremonial opening of the 4th session of the 9th Parliament by President Ranil Wickremessinghe today: President due to brief Parliament on the full implementation of 13th Amendment: former Minister Professor G L Peiris says the ceremonial opening is a “mere show”.
  10. Govt decides to close down 55 existing Project Management Units, suspend activities of 32, and operate 46 with minimum staff: decision said to be based on recommendations in a Report of the Committee to Review Project Offices and Project Management Units.

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