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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 20/03

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe says if IMF identifies Sri Lanka as a non-bankrupt country, the Govt would get an additional 10 years to repay the debt that has to be paid this year: also says compared to the Dollar, the Rupee has now gone up to Rs 300 and that after the agreement with IMF, the Rupee will gradually come down to Rs 200 or Rs 185.
  2. Minister of Ports Nimal Siripala de Silva says he has requested representatives of the SriLankan Airline agencies to reduce prices of air tickets proportionate to the decrease in value of the USD, which has already resulted in a 20% reduction in air ticket prices.
  3. President Ranil Wickremesinghe orders the immediate dissolution of the Education Ministry’s Teacher Transfer Board, resulting in the cancellation of approximately 12,500 teacher transfers.
  4. Senior Adviser to President on National Security and Presidential Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka takes steps to address a number of issues, including pension and salary disparities among the members of Tri Forces and differently-abled war heroes that have been unresolved for over 10 years.
  5. Ministry of Finance says an interest free loan of Rs 1.1 mn would be granted to students to pursue higher education even if they are unable to enter University: repayment after receiving jobs.
  6. National Building Research Organization issues landslide warnings for the districts of Badulla, Kegalle & Kurunegala: says there is a high risk of landslides occurring in these areas with the possibility of rocks and earth falling onto roads, homes & other buildings.
  7. CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe says amidst the appreciation of the rupee, the US dollar crisis has ended: says “we have enough dollars to service all sectors”: analysts point out the LKR has depreciated over 7.5% in the past week and the USD is now trading in the grey market at over Rs.380.
  8. President’s office directs the slashing of overseas allowances for Ministers, MPs and senior officials: travel for public officials for training programmes, study tours, conferences, discussions and tours also banned.
  9. People’s Bank squashes rumors and insists it has not received any direct or indirect requests or instructions from any State institution to close their accounts with the bank: says the bank has always been a trusted partner for State organisations in providing reliable financial services.
  10. Ministry of Finance says electronic methods are to be made compulsory for the payment of personal taxes from April 1: appropriate amendment to the IR Act introduced by the Minister of Finance.

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