Saturday, February 24, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 11/12

  1. State Defence Minister Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon says all 252 Security Forces from the Navy, Civil Defence Forces & Army will be withdrawn with immediate effect from the Mihintale sacred site: explains this decision was based on statements by Chief Incumbent of Mihintale Rajamaha Viharaya & Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.
  2. National Chamber of Exporters Chairman Jayantha Karunaratne says exporters are grappling with various challenges, such as unreasonable taxes imposed at an inappropriate time which are impacting their operations.
  3. State Minister Indika Anuruddha says separate inquiries by Ministry of Power & Ceylon Electricity Board will be held into the recent islandwide power breakdown: CEB spokesman says initial data shows that lightning strikes on the Kotmale to Biyagama transmission line caused the power breakdown.
  4. Parliament adjourns till 9.30am today (Monday) due to the lack of a quorum during the VAT (Amendment) Bill debate: Chief Government Whip Prasanna Ranatunga says the Bill will be debated in Parliament today & passed.
  5. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe says 3 new Bills that will make it easier to get a divorce will be presented to Parliament next month: namely, Matrimonial Causes Act, Recognition of Foreign Divorce Judgements Act and Code of Civil Procedure.
  6. Project to install solar panels for schools to start from next year: pilot
    programme in the Minuwangoda Education Division: aim is to provide relief to schools with electricity bills of more than Rs.20,000 per month.
  7. SJB “Economic Guru” & main advocate for higher taxes MP Harsha de Silva now laments the Govt is to impose VAT on 97 additional goods: such goods & services to include infant food “Thriposha”, local coconut milk products, medical equipment, ambulances, mobile phones, tractors, locally manufactured
    textiles, eggs, milk, mammotees, petrol, diesel, gas, fertilizer, tea green leaf, copra, solar panels, & locally manufactured software.
  8. State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says the VAT increase to 18% from Jan’24 onwards, the reduction of the VAT threshold to Rs.60 mn, & removal of VAT exemptions from 97 items, is expected to increase inflation by only 2.5% as per the information from the Central Bank.
  9. Parliament Select Committee on Gender Equity and Equality learns that, at present, women constitute over 15% of the Police Service and despite undergoing identical recruitment, training, deployment, & retirement processes as their male counterparts, the female officers report systemic injustice specifically in the promotion phase.
  10. SL Under-19 Cricket team cruises to a comfortable 7-wicket win against cricketing minnows Japan to open their Asian Cricket Council Under-19’s Asia Cup campaign, in Dubai: SL now tops Group ‘B’ where Bangladesh and United Arab Emirates are also part of.

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