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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 03/12

  1. Inland Revenue Dept says income tax files have been opened for all MPs: warn MPs that failure to complete the Tax Returns for the year 2022/23 would result in the imposition of a fine of Rs.50,000.
  2. Leader of the House tables proposal in Parliament to suspend State Minister Diana Gamage, and SJB MPs Sujith Sanjaya & Rohana Bandara from attending Parliament for a period of 1 month: 57 MPs vote for & 1 against to pass the Proposal: however, all 3 MPs can vote on the budget, despite their parliamentary suspension.
  3. SL’s next IMF tranche set to be taken up by the IMF Executive Board on 12th Dec’23: item listed as – “First Review of the Extended Arrangement Under the EFF, Request for Waiver of Non-observance of Performance Criterion, Request for Modification of Performance Criteria, Financing Assurances Review, and Rephasing of Access”.
  4. Madurai Bench of Madras High Court says that although half a century has lapsed since India signed the Indo-SL agreements (Sirima-Shastri Pact of 1964 and Sirima-Gandhi Pact of 1974) to resolve the status of Indian Origin Tamils (IOT) in SL, the Indian Govt has still not fulfilled its treaty obligations: notes that India was obliged to repatriate and grant citizenship to not less than six lakh IOTs from SL, but as of date only 461,639 IOTs have been conferred with Indian citizenship.
  5. Tourism Development Authority defends the introduction of Minimum Room Rates: claims the decision is backed by sound evidence on the benefits to the economy: points out to the increased revenue by hoteliers after the MRR came into effect on 1st Oct’23.
  6. Sectoral Oversight Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Sustainable Development reveals that 938 MT of plastic is generated in SL every day: also reveals that only 32% of the generated amount is collected and only 4% of the collected plastic is mechanically recycled.
  7. Irrigation Ministry Secretary U D C Jayalal confirms that the Ministry has received a proposal for a floating solar plant on Malwathu Oya and that it is currently under evaluation.
  8. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the Cabinet has approved the import of 100,000 MT of keeri samba rice for the upcoming festive season: also says the Govt has decided to import 50,000 MT of rice under the first phase and sell it only under the intervention of the state.
  9. US Ambassador to SL Julie Chung raises concerns re. the continued use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act: highlights the importance of the need to protect certain fundamental freedoms.
  10. Sources based in Jaffna say Mahendraraja Gopalswamy alias “Mahattaya”, the one-time deputy leader of the LTTE, has been left out of its “Heroes list” as displayed in Nallur, Jaffna, during the recent “Mahaveer Naal” celebrations: Mahattaya was executed on 28th Dec’94 on orders of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

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