Monday, June 17, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 18/02

  1. Foreign media reports indicate the IMF is considering approving Sri Lanka’s bail-out without the formal assurance of debt-restructuring support from China, as contemplated by the IMF.
  2. Government Printer says it will not be able to print ballot papers required for the Local Government Polls if the Treasury is unable to release money: postal voting scheduled for 22, 23, 24 & 28 Feb postponed: new dates to be announced later says the Elections Commission.
  3. Appeal Court rejects Writ Application challenging the Cabinet decision to increase the electricity tariffs as proposed by the CEB.
  4. Colombo Additional Magistrate orders the appointment of a 5-member expert committee comprising Judicial Medical Officers to prepare a report as there are contradictions in the post-mortem reports of well-known businessman Dinesh Schaffter.
  5. Tea exports down by 9.4% from a year ago to 17.6mn kg in Jan’23, as the industry experiences the lagged effect of lack of chemical fertilizer and weedicide: however, due to the Rupee depreciation, rupee earnings rise 96% to Rs.17.7bn, while export earnings rise to USD 99.6mn in Jan’23 up from USD 91.9mn a year earlier.
  6. Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera says that connecting the national energy grid of Sri Lanka with the Indian grid will not cause any risk.
  7. Rebel SLPP MP and former Foreign Minister Professor G L Peiris says the recent resignation of Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa & Ali Sabry from a Ministerial Subcommittee inquiring into the procurement of coal for Lakvijaya coal-fired power plant complex at Norochcholai reveals the failure on their part to take tangible action against corruption.
  8. Joint Apparel Assn Forum says its members are extremely concerned about the impact of the electricity tariff: asserts the move by the electricity regulator to approve another tariff hike has sent shock-waves across the nation: laments the massive hike will be detrimental for all sectors of the economy.
  9. Medical professionals allege the Ministry of Health had decided to postpone surgeries which the Ministry claimed to be non-essential and non-urgent based on medical advice in view of the shortage of pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment, without consulting the relevant parties including general surgeons.
  10. Economists say the Govt will have to choose between increasing taxes further or borrowing more, when the “money printing” by the Central Bank is stopped under an IMF programme: assert the Govt is likely to opt for borrowing more which would lead to a further spike in the country’s interest rates.

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