Saturday, February 24, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 13/02

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe congratulates Indian PM Narendra for the grand opening ceremony of the Ram Temple held in Ayodhya last month: underscores the long historical relations between the two nations on the economic and cultural front.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says the Samagi Jana Balawegaya follows the policy of the abolishment of the executive presidential system, through which the rights of the citizens are violated, but disagrees with the government’s attempt of delaying the presidential election in the guise of abolishing it: laments the government violates the voting rights of the people by not holding the elections: stresses any move to abolish the executive presidency must follow the assurance of the voting rights of the people first.
  3. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna executive member Samantha Vidyaratne asserts that India has recognised the growing influence of the National Peoples Power and anticipates its future role in the governance of the country: emphasises that this acknowledgment led to an invitation extended to Party Leader Anura Dissanayake for a visit to India, predating his presidential candidacy.
  4. Ex President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the Uma Oya project was the only major infrastructure project to which the ‘anti-establishment’ Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna contributed positively: adds the Uma Oya project’s 120 MW hydropower plant is set to commence operations this month, positioning it among Sri Lanka’s largest hydropower facilities alongside the Victoria, Kotmale, and Upper-Kotmale power stations.
  5. UNP ex MP Ashu Marasinghe says President Ranil Wickremesinghe is likened to former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and Russian President Vladimir Putin: asserts Sri Lanka currently has a leader who consists of the personalities of prominent world leaders.
  6. 72 health sector trade unions launch a strike today, demanding a Disturbance, Availability, and Transport (DAT) allowance similar to that of doctors: seek parity with the recently doubled allowance for doctors: The strike involves various health professionals and will include a protest in Colombo tomorrow.
  7. The TRCSL issues a directive urging all mobile phone users to ensure the correct registration of their SIM cards: asserts customers should verify the registration status of their SIM cards with their service providers, particularly if they were provided by former employers: The Commission’s Director (Compliance) emphasises that there are risks associated with unregistered or illegally obtained SIM cards, and advises to promptly disconnect any such cards to prevent potential misuse for illicit activities.
  8. The Central Bank’s trend of purchasing foreign exchange from domestic banks continued in January, with a notable acquisition of US $245.3 million and no sales: This builds on the record-setting purchases of US $1,895.87 million throughout 2023: These acquisitions lead to the reaching of US $4.4 billion reserves by the end of the year.
  9. All Island Dairy Association (AIDA) urges the government to reconsider its decision to raise the VAT, warning of detrimental effects on both the sector and public health: highlights the potential impact on dairy production, emphasising the sector’s vital role in the country’s economy and rural livelihoods: laments that the proposed hike could exacerbate the sector’s challenges, including rising production costs and retail prices: proposes gradual implementation of the VAT increase with support measures to mitigate adverse effects, including promoting value-added products and facilitating imports of feed ingredients.
  10. Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee selects 16-member squad led by Wanindu Hasaranga to take part in the T20I series against Afghanistan which will commence from February 17 at Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium under lights commencing from 7 pm.

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