Sunday, September 24, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 03/06

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe reiterates a Climate Change University will be established in Sri Lanka next year: also says prestigious institutions like Harvard and MIT have expressed interest to collaborate with it.
  2. Several environmental organizations backed by the Socialist Youth Union stage protest outside the Ministry of Justice: demand the Govt to file charges against the X-Press Pearl ship tragedy at a Sri Lankan Court instead of Singapore: also ask that the Govt seeks compensation for the environmental damage.
  3. Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera says instructions have been given to CPC & CPSTL to continue fuel deliveries on Saturday & Sunday this week to supply sufficient stocks to all fuel stations: long fuel queues continue.
  4. State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says import restrictions on 300 to 400 items will be relaxed from next week.
  5. SJB MP Harshana Rajakaruna says inflation had dropped as a consequence of reduced consumption: asserts the reduction of inflation is not a sign of economic stability: meanwhile, the severe contraction of the economy continues with 2022 growth being -7.8% and 2023 expected to be -4.2%: thousands of SMEs have already closed and over 500,000 persons added to the unemployed category.
  6. Research findings of blind graduate of Uni of Sri J’pura specialising in philosophy and psychology shows that Govt has stopped hiring graduates during the past 3 years and 75 blind graduates who graduated in the year before are severely affected by the prevailing economic crisis and unemployment.
  7. CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe says the USD 200 mn loans obtained from Bangladesh Bank will have to be paid back in September 2023: USD 2,150 mn out of current CB external reserves consist of SWAPs with other Central Banks (China USD 1550mn, India USD 400mn & Bangladesh USD 200mn), secured by former Governors Cabraal and Lakshman.
  8. Tourism data shows the industry has rebound with earnings of USD 828mn in the first 5 months of 2023: reflects a 30% increase from the corresponding period of last year: earnings from Tourism was USD 4,500 mn in 2018.
  9. SLPP Rebel MP and FPC Leader Dullas Alahapperuma responds to President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent address to the nation: asks “who ruined the country”?
  10. SL lose to Afghanistan by 6 wickets in the 1st Cricket ODI at Hambantota: SL 268 (50) – Charith Asalanka 91, Dhananjaya de Silva 51, Pathum Nissanka 38, Fareed Ahmad 43/2): Afghanistan 269/4 (46.5) – Ibrahim Zadran 98, Kasun Rajitha 49/2.

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