Thursday, September 28, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 08/08

  1. Cabinet approves the release of the “required amount of water” from Samanalawewa reservoir to Uda Walawe reservoir & from there to farmers for cultivation: Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara says the options for the release of the maximum amount of water for agriculture, while ensuring a continuous power supply without any power cuts, has been shared with the Cabinet.
  2. Irrigation engineers say the Udawalawe reservoir that has a total capacity of 217,800 acre-feet now has only 956 acre-feet of water, just 0.5% of the total capacity; also say that about 32,000 acre-feet of water is usually released for agriculture during the farming season but only 934 acre-feet of water was released for agriculture on Sunday.
  3. CB says Reserve Assets have increased by 1% to USD 3,762 mn in July’23, from USD 3,724 mn in June’23; analysts say this includes SWAPs of USD 1,400 mn from China, USD 400 mn from India, & USD 200mn from Bangladesh, “hot-money” investments of around USD 550 mn in Govt Treasuries, and USD 330mn loan from the IMF: meanwhile, unpaid Forex Debt in 2022 was USD 2,832 mn, and in 2023 upto June’23 estimated at USD 3,000 mn, totalling nearly USD 6,000 mn.
  4. Several political parties represented in Parliament, including the SLPP, SJB, and SLFP, to submit proposals to the Presidential Secretariat re. the 13th Amendment: Freedom People’s Congress (FPC) and JVP-led National People’s Power decide not to do so.
  5. Training SLAF air craft that took off from China Bay air-strip crashes, killing both the trainer & trainee: SLAF Commander Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksha appoints a committee to probe the incident.
  6. President Ranil Wickremasinghe appoints High Court Judge M C B Sanjeeva Morais as a Court of Appeal Judge & Court of Appeal Judge Sobitha Rajakaruna as the Acting President of the Court of Appeal.
  7. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meets Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry in Tehran: says “Iran is ready to share its scientific and technological knowledge and expertise” with Sri Lanka: emphasizes need to activate the joint commission for economic cooperation between the two countries.
  8. Tourism Minister Harin Fernando says tourist arrivals so far this year has crossed the 800,000 mark: highlights its positive impact on the sector’s vitality.
  9. Disaster Management Centre says 12 districts are currently facing drinking water shortages owing to the prevailing dry weather conditions: also says around 48,000 families have been affected: assures that arrangements are being made to distribute drinking water to nearly 156,000 persons affected individuals within these 12 districts using bowsers.
  10. Planters’ Association of Ceylon renews calls for urgent action from policymakers to allow diversification into more lucrative crops like oil palm, in the wake of a sharp reduction in prices of tea and rubber over the first half of 2023.

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