Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 27/02

  1. Special Board of Inquiry into the 9th May 2022 events, says orders given by former Commander in Chief cum President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and subsequent supporting orders given by Defence Secretary Kamal Gunaratne were not conveyed by former Actg. CDS cum Army Commander General Shavendra Silva to the Field Commanders on time to quell violence: concludes such action amounts to willful neglect of duty: also concludes ground troops could not prevent damage to public properties and harm to persons, as a result.
  2. PM’s Office says there’s no truth to the rumors that PM Dinesh Gunawardene is to resign: also says there isn’t any request or pressure from any party to do so.
  3. Police use water cannons and tear gas to disperse protestors near the Town Hall, Colombo, during the protest march organised by the NPP: 28 persons who sustained injuries during the protest march taken to the hospital.
  4. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva calls for “timely and orderly processes” under a “common” framework with regard to Sri Lanka’s debt resolution: analysts point out that the IMF, World Bank and ADB have conveniently left themselves out of any “common” re-structuring of debt of debt-distressed countries.
  5. Finance Ministry sources say they are confident of gaining assurances from bi-lateral creditors for their debt restructuring to obtain IMF board approval towards unlocking the USD 2.9 bn bail-out package by mid-April: the present debt restructuring due to cover only bilateral loans and not long term multi-lateral loans: it’s now 50 weeks since Sri Lanka sought an IMF facility.
  6. SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara says SJB MP Mayantha Dissanayake has informed him that Dissanayake will step down as the Committee on Public Finance Chairman: Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapaksha says MP Mayantha Dissanayake has not yet informed Parliament of such an intention.
  7. President Ranil Wickremesinghe turns down a tax-relief request by 40 trade unions representing professionals: explains IMF negotiations are currently underway and hence no decision could be taken to provide tax relief: Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena and CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe also make interventions.
  8. Road Development Authority struggles to secure investors for the Central Expressway Project despite a directive from the Presidential Secretariat to expedite the project: say the challenge is to find investors due to the drastically-weakened investor confidence in bankrupt Sri Lanka.
  9. TNA MP M A Sumanthiran says it is the height of absurdity for the President to claim that the LG election has not been officially declared: cites that all legal steps have been taken and nominations filed, Treasury has released up to Rs.100 mn for the initial expenses, and even the UNP has filed nominations and engaged in widespread campaign.
  10. President Ranil Wickremasinghe says Govt is making more Forex available to the medical sector on an urgent basis: also says the Govt will use the Indian Credit Line to address the shortage of medicine.

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