Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 08/03

1. During the meeting between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the IMF team at the Finance Ministry, Peter Breuer, the Senior Mission Chief for Sri Lanka, emphasized that the IMF program is exhibiting promising signs of efficacy, translating into tangible outcomes.He commended the authorities for their unwavering commitment to the program’s implementation, noting that such dedication is instrumental in driving positive change.

2. Opposition Leader MP Sajith Premadasa has requested the government to look into the failure to provide appointments to nearly 465 graduates. MP Premadasa said that nearly 60,000 graduates had received appointments from the government recently.

3. Leader of the National Peoples’ Power (NPP) MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake met with foreign diplomats from six countries during a meeting at the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s (JVP) Head Office. The meeting took place with the Palestinian Ambassador Zuhair M.H. Dar Zaid, Turkish Ambassador R. Demet Sekercioglu, Bangladesh Ambassador Tareq M.D. Ariful Islam, Indonesian Ambassador Dewi Gustina Tobing, Indonesian Consulate General Heru Prayitno, Malaysian High Commissioner Badli Hisham Bin Adam, and the Acting Maldivian Ambassador Fathimath Ghina.

4. SLPP MP Rohitha Abegunawardhana elected as the Chairman of the Parliament Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE)

5. Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera, announced that the revised Electricity Act has been sent to the Legal Draftsman’s Department for review. He anticipates presenting it to Parliament for approval in April following Cabinet endorsement. The minister expressed readiness to engage stakeholders to discuss reducing fuel prices further through a transparent pricing formula. 

6. In February 2024, Sri Lanka experienced a significant surge in both workers’ remittances and tourism earnings, as reported by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Workers’ remittances saw a remarkable 16.88% increase, reaching USD 476.2 million, while tourism earnings skyrocketed by nearly 114%, totaling USD 345.7 million compared to the previous year. 

7. A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition has been lodged with the Supreme Court, contesting the Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (SLTFTA). The petitioners seek an order from the Supreme Court to halt the execution of the trade agreement. The respondents in this petition include 27 individuals, such as the Attorney General (representing the President), the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Secretary to the Finance Ministry, and Secretary to the Trade Ministry.

8. The Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) convenor, Madushan Chandrajith, along with another student activist, who were apprehended during a demonstration in Colombo, have been granted bail. The Colombo Magistrate’s Court directed their release on personal bonds of Rs. 500,000 each when they appeared before the court on the 7th.

9. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has announced its intensified focus on tax compliance among affluent individuals in Sri Lanka. In a bid to uphold fairness and bolster confidence in the tax administration, the IRD is determined to ensure that high-net-worth individuals contribute their equitable share and fulfill their tax obligations accurately. As part of this initiative, a specialized unit named the High Wealth Individuals Unit (HWIU) has been established within the IRD, housed in the Large Taxpayer Office.

10. The second T20I between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was marred by controversy as a disputed Decision Review System (DRS) call sparked early debate. Sri Lanka’s assistant coach, Naveed Nawaz, expressed disappointment over the overturned caught-behind decision for Bangladeshi batsman Soumya Sarkar, suggesting its potential influence on the game’s outcome.

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