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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 16/05

01. President Ranil Wickremesinghe removes three governors: Jeevan Thiagarajah (Northern), Anuradha Yahampath (Eastern) and Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda (North-Western) removed from their positions: New appointments to take place on May 17.

02. The Unit 3 of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant to be shut down from June 3 for a period of 100 days due to scheduled major overhaul maintenance: Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara says power generation will be managed without any power cuts through other thermal power plants.

03. Chairman of the Public Health Inspectors’ Association Upul Rohana says the Dengue situation in the Gampaha district is getting out of control; alleges the situation has occurred due to the failure of the National Dengue Control Unit and provincial officers to analyse data and take appropriate action at the correct time.

04. The Ceylon Teachers’ Union says a sum of Rs. 2.5 billion due to those performing GCE OL and AL examination invigilating duties has not been paid so far: Union Secretary Joseph Stalin laments the Dept of Exams despite the promise that the teachers involved in the evaluation of GCE AL answer scripts will be issued advance payment has failed to do so; adds in the backdrop, the teachers have not taken part in the paper marking process.

05. President Ranil Wickremesinghe informs the CID to launch an immediate probe into Pastor Jerome Fernando, a leading advocate for the Glorious Church in Colombo who calls himself ‘the Prophet of God’, over a public statement he had allegedly made insulting Lord Buddha; asserts he would not allow any individual to destabilise the country by instigating religious disharmony.

06. President Ranil Wickremesinghe issues a directive to the legal departments, instructing them to prepare a stringent legislation aimed at preventing child abuse; stresses the urgency of addressing the on-going issue of child abuse perpetrated by teachers, elders, and various segments of society; adds to combat such acts effectively, implementing a legal framework that imposes severe punishments on offenders would be necessary.

07. IMF Asia Pacific Director Krishna Srinivasan says Sri Lanka is expected to resume an economic growth in 2024 after contracting 3% this year; adds the expected economic growth of 1.5% next year hinges critically on the economic reform programme Sri Lanka has agreed to undertake, including challenging reforms in five identified areas.

08. Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says Sri Lanka requested ‘Indiana Ophthalmics’, the Indian company that manufactured ophthalmic medicine leading to complications among patients at the Nuwara Eliya District General Hospital, to grant compensation; adds Sri Lanka is yet to receive a response; reveals the company in question has been supplying medicines for the last seven years and is registered under the NMRA and the EU.

09. The Meteorology Department issues ‘caution’ level heat index advisory for Eastern and Northern provinces and Moneragala and Polonnaruwa districts after days of heavy weather; urges public to stay hydrated.

10. Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva says Sri Lanka has excellent relations with India; expresses confidence on the Indian conglomerate Adani group’s investment in Colombo Port; stresses that although Sri Lanka had to sell the Hambantota Port to China, it has ensured that the Port is not used for war or security purposes.

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