Monday, April 15, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 01/04

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe announces plans to modernise Sri Lanka’s film industry, transitioning an outdated film corporation into a development company: Emphasising the importance of embracing technology, he highlights intentions to provide foreign training opportunities for artists and production designers: mentions plans to support the production of Sri Lanka’s first AI film, noting the integration of artificial intelligence into the global film industry.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says certain ‘cardboard socialists’ are boasting of free health and free education in the guise of socialism when in reality they are sending their children to private universities and are receiving treatment from private hospitals: responds to criticism that he only knows of ‘distributing items’, the Opposition Leader stresses that he acts in no interest of personal gain, but for the well-being of the people of Sri Lanka.
  3. Sources says three prominent members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) are reportedly preparing to pursue legal action after being ousted from their positions during a meeting of the executive committee and seat organisers on March 30: The decision saw Duminda Dissanayake removed from the role of National Organiser, Mahinda Amaraweera from Senior Vice President, and Lasanta Alagiyawanna from Treasurer.
  4. MP Wimal Weerawansa acquitted of invalid passport charges by Negombo Magistrate’s Court: Charges stemmed from 2015 incident of using an expired passport for travel, later replaced: Defense argued Immigration’s inaction during initial attempt and legality of using valid visa from old passport alongside renewed one: Court found in favour of Weerawansa, ending legal proceedings.
  5. State-run LP gas distributor LITRO Gas Lanka announces price reductions for domestic cylinders effective midnight today (01): Prices reduced by Rs. 135 for 12.5 kg cylinder, Rs. 55 for 5 kg cylinder, and Rs. 23 for 2.3 kg cylinder.
  6. Sri Lanka’s trade deficit expanded in February due to increased imports as the economy resumed normal activities: However, the deficit contracted significantly from the previous month, mainly due to reduced spending on fuel imports: Imports totalled US$1.378 billion, while exports were US$1.059 billion, resulting in a US$319 million trade deficit for February: This improvement is attributed to strengthened exports and reduced imports: Y-o-Y data shows a 35.0% increase in merchandise imports and a 7.9% increase in exports, reflecting gradual economic normalisation.
  7. The SLTDA provisional data shows that Sri Lanka has seen a remarkable rise in tourist arrivals, surpassing 600,000 in the first 27 days of March 2024: This surge indicates a rapid recovery compared to the previous year, with arrivals expected to exceed 200,000 by month-end: Leading the influx are visitors from India, Russia, Germany, the UK, and China: Additionally, tourism earnings for the first two months of the year soared by 118.2% year-on-year, totaling US$ 687 million.
  8. Dry weather conditions have affected around 10,000 individuals from 3,027 families across the country, with Gampaha and Kegalle districts experiencing the most significant impact: The Meteorology Department of forecasts hot weather throughout April, with scattered showers or thundershowers expected in various provinces, especially in the afternoon: Misty conditions are anticipated in certain areas during the morning period.
  9. The United States National Transportation Safety Board discloses that the cargo ship involved in the Baltimore bridge collapse was carrying hazardous materials, including corrosive substances, flammables, and lithium-ion batteries: Owned by Grace Ocean Private Ltd. and chartered by Maersk, the MV Dali was en route from Baltimore to Sri Lanka.  
  10. Sri Lanka set a Test cricket record by scoring 531 runs without an individual century in the second match against Bangladesh: This followed a standout partnership and century performances in the first Test: Sri Lanka’s achievement joins a short list of teams accomplishing similar feats in cricket history.

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