Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 27/01

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe prorogues Parliament: next session of the 9th Parliament to begin on 7th February’24.
  2. President Ranil Wickremesinghe urges political parties to unite for discussions with IMF on potential “alternative proposals”: expresses readiness to extend invitation to IMF MD to visit SL: former CB Governor & State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal had repeatedly warned that it is highly risky to assume there’s no option other than IMF proposals: he had also urged the consideration of alternative policies to deal with the economic crisis.
  3. CB Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe gives evidence before the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating the Bankruptcy of the country: retracts Treasury Sectetary Sirwardene’s and his own previous statements that SL had become a bankrupt state: analysts contend that the previous announcements of the Governor and Treasury Secretary had prompted the President, Cabinet and entire country to believe SL is bankrupt.
  4. Wayamba University Professor of Economics & Statistics Aminda Methsila Perera says it is very likely the inflation rate in January’24 will rise above 9% although CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe has claimed it will rise to 7% only.
  5. Chief Executive Director of the Free Trade Zone Investors Federation Dhammika Fernando says the country’s garment exports have shrunk by 20-23% in 2023: laments many small & medium scale factories have closed: also says most large-scale garment industry investors have closed their factories and are investing in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar & India.
  6. State Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa says the Uma Oya project will add 120 MW to the national grid by 25th February’24 and boost SL’s energy security.
  7. Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake appoints a new Board of Directors to SL Telecom which is to be privatised shortly: Chairman – A K D D D Arandara: Board Members – Dr K A S Keeragala, Dinesh Vidanapathirana, Professor K M Liyanage, Dr D M I S Dassanayake & Chathura Mohottigedara.
  8. President Ranil Wickremesinghe says the Govt is considering leasing state-owned plantations to SL companies or SL companies with foreign shareholders for the development of the food industry including confectionery: asks the confectionery industry to explore inter-cropping with cocoa; pledges Rs.8 bn for research & development.
  9. Police in Thailand arrest woman Sawangjit Kosoongnern, whose pet lion was videoed going on a joy-ride in the streets of Pattaya: the viral video shows the chained lion cub seated in the back of a white, open-top Bentley driven by a SL man who has since left the country, and is believed to be a friend of the woman.
  10. Colombo International School’s Reshan Algama, 15, recognised as the Most Outstanding Schools Golfer of 2023: accordingly, he will be chosen to be part of the Vision 2036 ‘Lion Warrior’ programme to develop SL athletes to take part in the 2036 Olympics.

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