Saturday, April 1, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 02/03

  1. Cabinet Spokesman & Minister Bandula Gunawardena says the Govt has taken a “historic decision” to explore a very expensive, yet high power output and reliable nuclear power supply with support from Russia: asserts that will be done to address the energy crisis in the country.
  2. PUC Chairman Janaka Ratnayake says necessary legal action will be taken personally by him in the next couple of days re. the recent increase of the electricity tariff without his consent: asserts the tariff was increased for 5 mn people with the lowest incomes.
  3. Sri Lankan workers strike in defiance of Govt ban leading to closure of some hospitals, banks and ports: strike prompted by steep tax hikes and spending cuts imposed by Govt to secure IMF bailout: about 40 trade unions participate: only emergency cases at hospitals treated.
  4. Rupee appreciates against USD: buying rate Rs. 351.72 & selling rate Rs. 362.95: lowest since 4May”22: CB Governor Weerasinghe issues order to banks to use Rs.358.48 as the “middle spot exchange rate of the USD/LKR interbank transactions” with “variation margin of Rs.5.00 on either side (+/-)” for of the middle spot for 1March”23: order confirms that the “fixed” exchange rate policy is continuing.
  5. Cabinet opens up aviation fuel market: allows new entrants to offer prices: hitherto, only the CPC had supplied Jet A-1 fuel required for cargo and passenger flights.
  6. Regional Researcher for the Right to Protest at Amnesty International Harindrini Corea says a protestor had been killed and dozens injured as a result of the unlawful use of water cannons and tear gas by Police in Colombo.
  7. Court of Appeal directs Parliament to release information of MPs’ asset declarations: upholds the Right to Information Commission’s decision.
  8. Ministry of Sports halts funding for foreign tours: athletes selected for the forthcoming Asian Youth Athletics Championship asked to find funds of Rs.650,000 per person for their respective travel and other expenses.
  9. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning says China will support Sri Lanka in its loan application to the IMF: encourages multi-lateral creditors to also make “corresponding contributions”: so far, the multi-lateral creditors (IMF, WB & ADB) have avoided re-structuring of their loans, claiming they are “senior creditors”.
  10. US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations urges Govt to hold free and fair LG elections without further delay: asserts any effort to trample the voice of the people of Sri Lanka is undemocratic and a direct violation of Sri Lankans’ rights.

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