Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 10/03

  1. Japan donates USD 6.6 mn to UN World Food Programme to provide critical food & nutrition assistance to over 1 mn Sri Lankans.
  2. High-income earning public servants in higher education, medical, banking, ports and other sectors threaten to intensify ongoing trade union action against the IMF-backed taxes: warn of a “total shutdown” by 15th March.
  3. Lanka Sathosa reduces prices of 7 items; Dried Chillies to Rs.1500; Red Dhal to Rs.339; Wheat Flour to Rs.230; White Sugar to Rs.218; Red Raw to Rs.155; White Nadu to Rs.188; Big Onion to Rs.129.
  4. CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe says the debt-restructuring strategy will be announced in April: also says talks with commercial creditors will “step up” before the IMF review in 6-months: IMF says the 4-year USD 2.9 bn bail-out package will be submitted to its Executive Board for final approval on 20th March.
  5. Frontline Socialist Party Educational Secretary Pubudu Jagoda says the new Central Bank Bill, if passed, would deprive Parliament of power over the CB.
  6. Govt Printer Gangani Liyanage says she has written to the Treasury to release the remaining funds of more than Rs.300 mn to recommence activities of ballot paper printing for the upcoming LG poll and also requested the IGP for adequate security.
  7. Dept of Immigration to introduce new visas for the Colombo Port City Special Economic Zone as employment, investor, and residence: visa fee to be USD 200,000 per year for multiple entries over 5 to 10 years: so far, only 3 persons have obtained “Golden Paradise Visas” of a similar nature.
  8. State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe says Govt has requested State Bank of India and Indian High Commission to extend the USD 1bn Credit Line, which expires later this month, by 6-months to utilise around USD 300mn which is left-over at present: the balance credit to be used for medicines and health equipment.
  9. JVP Chief Secretary Tilvin Silva says the Govt’s claim that the LKR is strong is false: Media State Minister Shantha Bandara says according to the
    latest report of the “American Bloomberg Institute”, the LKR is the fastest growing currency in the world.
  10. Dept of Wildlife Conservation says the human-elephant conflict has left 14 humans and 74 pachyderms dead so far this year: also says Sri Lanka has the highest density of elephants in the world: last year, the human-elephant conflict led to the deaths of 145 people and 433 elephants.

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