Monday, June 5, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 18/05

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe says the proper implementation of the government’s policy programme would lead to economic prosperity surpassing the goals set by the IMF; stresses the need for collective efforts to address the concerns raised by the youth regarding the country’s economy and their future; asserts they can rectify the mistakes of the past.
  2. President Ranil Wickremesinghe once again declares the supply of electricity, the supply or distribution of petroleum products and fuel, and health services as essential services via special gazette: Previously, the President had made multiple announcements from August 2022 to February 2023 declaring these services essential.
  3. A Parliament statement reads the Atomic Energy Board of Sri Lanka said that the country’s first nuclear power plant can be built by 2032 with technical support from Russia: The announcement made at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Energy and Transport.
  4. The government prints another Rs. 189 billion to “pay its debts” on May 15: Under CBSL Governor Weerasinghe, “money printing” so far has been a staggering amount of Rs. 1,061 billion, more than one trillion rupees in just over one year: Analysts point out this amount had to be printed without even having to pay for the foreign debt due to bilateral and private creditors and after increasing taxes by 200%; warn of severe economic collapse.
  5. President Ranil Wickremesinghe appoints three new provincial governors: Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena Governor of Uva; P.S.M. Charles Governor of North; Senthil Thondaman Governor of East.
  6. Pastor Jerome Fernando, who calls himself the ‘Prophet of God’ and is a leading advocate for the Glorious Church of Colombo, Sri Lanka, says he will return to Sri Lanka on Sunday: Fernando is currently under a CID probe over his comments allegedly instigating religious disharmony: Ex President Mahinda Rajapaksa denies allegations of having ties with either Fernando or Zimbabwean Pastor Uebert Angel, the ‘Godfather’ of the modern prophetic movement, but acknowledges that Fernando met him once during his tenure as the Prime Minister and the Minister in charge of Religious Affairs.
  7. The World Rugby Council suspends Sri Lanka Rugby from World Rugby membership with immediate effect, in response to concerns about the governance of the SLR and a breach of the World Rugby by-laws relating to political interference.
  8. Senior Consultant Physician at the IDH Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama says irrespective of the speculations that the dengue epidemic could strike by June, Sri Lanka had already reached the epidemic threshold; adds the worst is yet to come; warns it is imperative that people should be cautious and take prompt steps to prevent mosquito bites.
  9. Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara says neither the IMF nor any other organisation instructed to amend the labour laws, and therefore, no document has been prepared on labour law reforms; adds the Ministry is seeking public views related to the amendment of labour laws before going to the media and commenting on the revision of labour laws.
  10. Three of four charges against SL Cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka relating to the alleged sexual assault of a woman dropped by Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney, Australia: Prosecutor for the Director of Public Prosecutions tells the court that one charge certified but the remaining three counts of sexual intercourse without consent withdrawn.

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