Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 17/03

  1. A meeting chaired by Sagala Ratnayaka discussed the launch of a new mobile app called “Beach Clean-up Coordination App” aimed at improving beach cleanliness and waste management: Facilitated by the Coastal Conservation Protection Authority, the app seeks to coordinate efforts among institutions for sustainable coastal development.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says even on the International Consumer Day the people of Sri Lanka are suffering without being able to cover their three meals: asserts the people of the country are cursing the current administration: laments almost half of the country has become poor and they are unable to bear the cost of living whilst being deprived of their consumer rights.
  3. CoPE Chairman and Ruling Party MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena says he will be taking legal actions against NPP MP Vijitha Herath for calling him ‘a thief’ during a press briefing: challenges the Opposition MP to prove the allegation before the Court of Law.
  4. The government’s decision to impose an 18% VAT on the gem and jewellery industry led to concerns of closure and relocation: President Wickremesinghe responds by announcing concessions for industry members, aiming to address challenges and sustain growth: Immediate tax policy changes aren’t feasible, but collaborative efforts with public and private sectors will be made to devise effective solutions within two weeks: The industry, crucial for forex earnings and employment, faces significant impact from the VAT, affecting exports and domestic sales.
  5. The Navy seizes two Indian trawlers and arrested 21 Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters near Delft Island: The operation, conducted by the Northern Naval Command, utilised Fast Attack Craft to intercept the poaching trawlers: The seized vessels and detained fishermen were escorted to Kankesanthurai Harbour for further legal action, bringing the total number of seized trawlers in 2024 to 18, with 146 fishermen apprehended.
  6. Sri Lanka’s economy rebounded in the 4Q23’ with a 4.5% growth, following a year marked by a 2.3% contraction: Industrial activity drove the growth, supported by IMF assistance and lower interest rates: Despite challenges like high input prices, agriculture showed positive growth: The GDP at current prices rose by 14.8%, with tourism and remittances aiding the recovery: The services sector expanded by 2.8%, while industry grew by 7.9%: Services contributed 59.9% to GDP, industry 8.3%, and agriculture 8.3%.
  7. The new Pakistani High Commissioner, Major General (Retd.) Faheem Ul Aziz, met with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena: The two discuss enhancing bilateral ties, focusing on economic sectors, investments, tourism, and industries: Aziz highlights the potential for increased Buddhist pilgrimages to Pakistan: Gunawardena expresses gratitude for Pakistan’s support and training facilities for Sri Lankan armed forces.
  8. Malaysian authorities detain 158 individuals, including Sri Lankans, for overstaying visas or lacking permits during a raid in Perak: The detainees, from various countries, were renting apartments without proper authorisation.
  9. The Human Rights Commission addresses reported irregularities in Royal College, Colombo 7’s 2024 Prefects Council appointments following seven student complaints: An initial inquiry revealed discrepancies in the selection process, prompting HRCSL to direct the school to rectify the wrongful appointments: If not resolved, a full inquiry involving all parties will follow: The complaints cited criteria violations and alleged inappropriate appointments.
  10. The Sri Lanka Cricket said he fast bowler Dilshan Madushanka will not further take part in the ongoing tour as the bowler will return to start rehabilitation work after suffering an injury during the 2nd ODI: Madushanka, who left the field during the second ODI while bowling, has suffered a left hamstring injury.

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