Monday, April 22, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 15/07

  1. President Ranil Wickremasinghe’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Ministry of Finance officials, and IMF officials take a decision to lift all import restrictions, other than on vehicles, from the first week of September: Analysts expect the LKR to take a nose-dive as a result.
  2. Drug addicts suspected to have removed Rs.280 mn worth of copper wires, nuts & bolts from the new “Golden Gate Kalyani” Kelani bridge built with a massive loan from Japan
  3. State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says the Govt will impose an excise tax of Rs.10 per liter on toddy: claims the tax is to increase Govt revenue: former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal says instead of increasing taxes daily and imposing burdens on the beleaguered people, the Govt must seek ways to grow the economy, which would lead to higher Govt revenue, even at the current or even lower rates of tax.
  4. President Ranil Wickremasinghe says Sri Lanka has invited UK’s former Paymaster General Francis Maude, who oversaw the creation of the UK Govt Digital Service in 2011, to visit the country and share his insights on digitalisation with a view to boosting state revenue.
  5. Former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva says it would not be wise to give full independence to the Central Bank.
  6. Colombo High Court Judge Namal Balalle sentences Garnia Bannister Francis (a local employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo) who had falsely claimed that she was abducted in 2019, to 2-years rigorous imprisonment & a fine of Rs.5,000: the prison sentence be suspended for 5 years.
  7. SJB decides to lodge a complaint with the World Health Organization, seeking action against those responsible for weakening the country’s healthcare sector: SJB MP Kavinda Jayawardena says the Party is also mulling moving a no-confidence motion against Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.
  8. NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa says people who seek treatment from Govt hospitals have become “laboratory rats” due to the import of inferior quality drugs from India under emergency purchases.
  9. SLPP MP Retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera rejects Bar Association allegation that his speech in Parliament on 7 July was an attack on the judiciary: asserts the Bar Association’s response shows their solidarity with the lawyers in Mulativu, without probing the relevant incident at Kurundi Buddhist Temple Complex.
  10. SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva who stoutly stood for Debt Re-structuring and an IMF programme now says his stance is that domestic debt re-structuring must be avoided: adds that banks must bear the burden of re-structuring, instead of the EPF only bearing the brunt of the loss.

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