Sunday, September 24, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 30/05

  1. LKR appreciates further against the USD: According to the CB, average exchange rate down to Rs.296.58: CB data also shows a massive increase in Foreign Investors’ T-Bill & Bond holdings from 17.02.23 onwards in an amount of Rs.135.7 bn, coinciding with the LKR appreciation from Rs.364.58 per USD to Rs.302.09.
  2. ADB approves another loan of USD 350 mn as a “special policy-based loan to provide budget support for economic stabilisation”: loan to be a part of a broader package of financial assistance anchored by IMF.
  3. Marine Environment Protection Authority, quoting the Navy, says there is no chemical or oil leak reported from the wreck of MV X-Press Pearl: adds samples were obtained from the sea area for further investigation.
  4. Fort Magistrate remands Ven. Rajangane Saddhatissa Thera who was arrested by Police in Anuradhapura for making statements that could disrupt religious harmony: remand order valid till 7th June.
  5. SJB MP Dr Harsha de Silva calls for urgent support for exports & SMEs: warns of a bigger crisis in the absence of a Govt plan: Silva was in the forefront demanding an IMF programme with flexible exchange rates, higher interest rates and debt default & re-structuring, which has now crippled the Sri Lankan SMEs.
  6. Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says a new Court will be set up to hear cases relating to taxes: laments legal cases relating to taxes and related fraud have been languishing in the legal system, creating a severe backlog.
  7. President Ranil Wickremesinghe decides to establish a special Police Unit to investigate and prosecute groups or persons, who try to disturb religious harmony in the country: instructs his adviser and Chief-of-Staff Sagala Ratnayake to discuss the matter with the IGP and take necessary action immediately.
  8. Department of Animal Production & Health requests people to refrain from eating beef due to viral disease rapidly spreading among cattle in the North Western Province.
  9. Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says State Owned Enterprises are set to undergo reforms and other public enterprises engaged in commercial activities also face “performance optimisation” under public-private ownership: out of 527 SOEs, 52 identified as strategically important and are to be operated with private sector investment.
  10. Two of Sri Lanka’s emerging top young players Mahesh Theekshana and Mahesha Pathirana play for Chennai Super Kings who win the IPL Cricket Tournament 2023 Final, defeating Gujarat Titans by 5 wickets in the last ball of their innings: : GT: 214/4 (20) lose to CSK: 171/5 (15) under Duckworth – Lewis system.

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