Sunday, June 4, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 28/04

  1. Governor of the North-Western Province and ex Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda banned from entering the US Soil over alleged human rights abuses during the war season: SL Foreign Ministry raises grave concerns over the decision with the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka.
  2. Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara says duty free allowance given to Sri Lankan expatriate workers at the Airport will be increased from May 01; asserts a circular was issued in this regard.
  3. Transport and Highways Minister Bandula Gunawardena issues an extraordinary gazette increasing expressway tolls with effect from April 27: Toll for Katunayake-Hambantota – four-wheel to Rs. 1,300 from Rs. 1,000; six-wheel to Rs. 2,350 from Rs. 1,900; heavy vehicles with over six wheels to Rs. 3,950 from Rs. 3,150: Toll for Central Expressway Mirigama-Kurunegala – four-wheel to Rs. 300 from Rs. 250; six-wheel to Rs. 450 from Rs. 350; heavy vehicles with over six wheels to Rs. 700 from Rs. 550: Toll for Peliyagoda-Katunayake – four-wheel to Rs. 400 from Rs. 300; six-wheel to Rs. 550 from Rs. 450; heavy vehicles with over six wheels to Rs. 750 from Rs. 600.
  4. CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe presents the Bank’s 73rd Annual Report (2022) to President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Finance Ministry; projects the country’s economy is expected to shrink by 2% in 2023; adds the economy would grow by 3.3% in 2024: CB’s growth estimate for 2023 said to be more optimistic than the 3.1% contraction projected by the IMF.
  5. President Ranil Wickremesinghe directs the Plantation Reform Committee officials to take immediate action to resolve the prevailing issues in the Plantation Sector; asserts the government is committed to carrying out its agricultural modernisation plan.
  6. The HRCSL urges President not to table the proposed ‘Anti-Terrorism Bill,’ a replacement to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in Parliament in its current format until a national dialogue on it is concluded, and its recommendations are published along with a clear action plan.
  7. GOSL plans to bring in fresh amendments to Inland Revenue Act, No. 24 of 2017 in Parliament for approval today; set to raise revenues from the current level of 14-15% of GDP to higher levels of above 20% of GDP matching those of more developed countries, following the context of widening the tax base rather than increasing the rates without adverse impacts on the processes of investment and on living conditions of the low and middle income families:
  8. Ex BASL Chief Saliya Peiris PC says the proposed ATA replacing the existing PTA has no provisions that contribute to the elimination of actual terrorism in the country; slams the Justice Minister for defending the bill under the pretext of it being formulated through a Committee presided by PCs Nerin Pulle and Nalinda Indatissa, claiming that the formulation of the bill involved no stakeholders at all and even the Committee minutes reveal that some of the members expressed objections to certain provisions of the bill that do not comply with international human rights standards.
  9. The Presidential Environment Awards 2021-2022 organised by the Central Environment Authority to be held today under the patronage of President Wickremesinghe: Prime objective is the awarding of state honours to industries, business organisations and individuals who have made an excellent contribution towards environmental conservation.
  10. SL declares their first innings in the second Test against Ireland on 704 for 3, the highest ever at the Galle International Cricket Stadium: The hosts took a lead of 212 as all of their top four batsmen scored centuries, with Nishan Madushka and Kusal Mendis scoring double tons.

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