Monday, September 25, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 14/08

  1. Opposition lawmakers including JVP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake and SJB’s Sajith Premadasa demand that the Speaker withdraws his statement, in which he ruled that the proposal on executing the Domestic Debt Optimization program cannot be challenged in any Court: however, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena asserts he would not amend his stance on the matter.
  2. Tourist Hotels Assn President M Shanthikumar says the re-introduction of the Minimum Room Rate Policy was to prevent the hotels from being degraded: also says that getting higher numbers in and charging lower does not help the industry: certain other stakeholders say the move will lead to the downfall of the industry.
  3. Top business analysts expect the Banking Sector NPL ratio which is currently in excess of 18% to shoot up to 40% if no action is taken by the banks or the Central Bank to restructure bad and irrecoverable debts of small and medium sized enterprises.
  4. President Ranil Wickremesinghe says that resolving the country’s economic challenges goes beyond the success of the debt optimization programme: emphasises the need to promptly initiate an economy-building strategy guided by sound decisions: cautions that failure to proactively adopt a new program would inevitably result in the country facing another economic hurdle within a decade.
  5. The Mahaweli Authority raises concerns about the limited water capacity of the Udawalawe Reservoir: indicates that it can sustain the region’s water needs for just 3 more days only.
  6. Sri Lanka Telecom which is earmarked by the Govt for Privatisation, reports a net loss of Rs.2.1 bn for 2Q23, compared to a profit of Rs.1.96 bn in 2Q22: also says the group revenue has declined to Rs.26.1 bn from Rs.26.9 bn: explains that the delay in monetisation of the fibre network and the revenue contraction in Mobitel due to the decline in the subscriber base by 1 mn, are the reasons for the decline.
  7. Public Health Inspectors Assn cautions about an upsurge in the spread of Leptospirosis, also known as “rat fever”, amidst the ongoing dry weather conditions: its Chairman Upul Rohana says those involved in freshwater fishing, should remain vigilant in this regard.
  8. Former Army Chief of Staff Lt. General Jagath Dias queries as to whether a plan is currently underway to help establish “Eelam” by Constitutional means.
  9. President Ranil Wickremasinghe emphasises the need to implement a well structured strategy to earn at least USD 2 bn from the Gem and Jewellery industry.
  10. The Australian Government alerts its nationals travelling to Sri Lanka to exercise a ‘high degree of caution’ due to the threat of public demonstrations, shortages of some imported foods & medicines, and security risks: also warns that dengue fever is another risk owing to the monsoonal weather.

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