Saturday, March 25, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 16/03

  1. LKR selling rate crashes from 335.68 to 344.68 against the USD recording a massive depreciation of Rs.8.98 (2.7%) in a single day: LKR said to be trading in “grey” market at over 375.00 per USD: LKR also depreciates 8.7% from 387.11 to 420.68 against the GBP from 9th to 15th March.
  2. Media Spokesperson of the GMOA Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe says the island-wide strike launched by the GMOA will be called off temporarily at 8.00am today.
  3. Census Dept says the economy in 2022 suffered the worst ever contraction of 7.8%: 4th quarter contraction of 12.4%: all 3 major economic activities of Agriculture, Industry & Services suffer contraction: in 2021, growth was a positive 3.5%.
  4. People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections Director Rohana Hettiarachchi says it is highly unlikely the LG election would be held on April 25 as announced by the Elections Commission: laments the Govt is ignoring Court decisions.
  5. PM Dinesh Gunawardena says he will prevail on the President to submit a Cabinet proposal to rectify the British Crown’s decision to exile Ceylon’s national heroes of the Great Rebellion of Uva Wellassa: laments State Counsels and President’s Counsels have not come forward to correct that decision which betrayed the country’s national heroes.
  6. IFC Country Manager Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa explains the modalities of the much-hailed “USD 400mn cross-currency SWAP” for 3 Sri Lankan commercial banks: says the agreement is to trade currencies where cash flows in one currency is exchanged for cash flows in another currency at defined rates: analysts point out there is no new Forex inflow due to the SWAP as initially believed by some persons.
  7. Easter Sunday bomb attack main suspect Zaharan Hashim’s wife Fathima Hadiya granted bail by Kalmunai High Court after being detained under the PTA for 4 years: CID obtains detention order for 3 months under the PTA to detain & interrogate notorious drug dealers Nadun Chinthaka alias ‘Harak Kata’ & Salindu Malshika alias ‘Kudu Salindu’.
  8. Tea exports in Feb’23 down by 13% YoY: main tea categories dip: Turkey, Iraq and Russia emerge as top 3 buyers: exports to Japan, Lebanon & Belgium improve significantly.
  9. Cabinet Spokesman Dr Bandula Gunawardana warns “anyone who violates the essential services order will face the full force of the law”: however, due to yesterday’s strike, more than 90% of schools close: out-patient depts at hospitals close: dockers at the Colombo port stay away: air traffic controllers “go slow” for two hours.
  10. Finance State Minister Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says the country loses Rs. 46 bn in earnings per day due to strikes: also says the damage to education due to the strike is too high to be calculated: asserts the country and economy can’t be prevented from collapsing again if such “baseless strikes” are carried out.

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