Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 15/04

  1. During the traditional oil anointing ritual after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawn, a blessing is recited that invokes a series of seemingly impossible transformations to grant longevity to the anointed: The tradition reads, “Dressed in white, while facing south, may divul leaves on your head and imbul leaves on your feet, apply oil mixed with extracts of divul leaves.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says the next Sinhala and Tamil New Year of Sri Lanka should be celebrated as a smart country in which prosperity blossoms: adds the country’s current status is a ‘new normal’ and the prices of food and oil, therefore, have increased, making it difficult for people to experience the joy of the New Year table: laments that a majority of people have become poor in what he described as the new normal.
  3. Leader of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya MP Udaya Gammanpila says he does not believe that President Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest the upcoming Presidential Election as suggested by certain MPs of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP): asserts those who have carefully studied politics do not express views on their political allegiances until the right moment, because otherwise they could be politically humiliated before the public.
  4. India reaffirms its steadfast support to Sri Lanka, emphasising its commitment as Colombo’s ‘most reliable’ friend and partner: Indian High Commissioner Santosh Jha highlights the close cooperation between the two nations in security and defence matters, stressing the interconnectedness of their security due to geography: mentions India’s willingness to provide modern defence equipment to friendly nations like Sri Lanka, showcasing India’s indigenous defence capabilities to Sri Lankan military representatives.
  5. Special bus services are arranged by the National Transport Commission (NTC) for individuals returning to Colombo after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays on April 15 and 16: Additional buses are deployed to accommodate passenger demand, while special train services from Badulla, Galle, and Beliatta railway stations to Colombo Fort are also available, providing commuters with alternative transportation options.
  6. Korea pledges expanded support to Sri Lanka across various sectors such as education, health, renewable energy, employment, agriculture, and rural development: Ambassador Miyon Lee assures Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena of this: Korea will provide smart classrooms to 1,000 schools, send medical teams to Government hospitals, and undertake new development projects alongside ongoing ones: agrees to increase employment opportunities for SL workers and enhance cooperation in various fields, including academia and technology.
  7. The Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit reports a record surge in 2024 dengue cases, topping 21,000: Colombo leads with 4,527 cases, and Western Province records 7,547: April alone sees 989 new cases: With recent rainfall, authorities stress cleanliness to curb mosquito breeding and dengue spread.
  8. The National Savings Bank (NSB) showcases resilience by achieving a Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs. 7.2 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023 despite facing numerous challenges: This success was driven by a 31% increase in Interest Income, primarily from strategic investments in Government Debt Securities: Despite a 34% decline in net fee and commission income due to subdued loan demand, NSB demonstrates adeptness in capitalising on market opportunities, resulting in a 206% increase in Net Gain from trading: faces, however, a 41% increase in Interest Expense, primarily from Fixed Deposits, affecting the growth of Net Interest Income: maintains a low Impaired Loans Ratio of 2.41% and an above-industry impairment coverage ratio of 53.3%: Overall records a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 4.3 billion, representing a 5% decrease from 2022, while managing increased personnel and other expenses amid global inflationary pressures.
  9. Police report four murders during the New Year period of 48 hours: In Galewala, a 23-year-old died intervening in a dispute: In Hakmana, a 21-year-old was killed by his uncle: In Elayapaththuwa, a 37-year-old died in an alcohol-fuelled altercation: In Serunuwara, a 41-year-old was killed over an affair: Suspects are sought as investigations continue: Meanwhile, Police also report 8 road accidents in 24 hours, resulting in 10 deaths: Driver negligence considered to be the major factor: Authorities urge the need for strict adherence to traffic rules to curb accidents.
  10. Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya credits Chennai Super Kings’ Impact Substitute, Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana, for their 20-run loss in the IPL match at the Wankhede Stadium: Pathirana’s 4-28 disrupted Mumbai’s momentum, despite a strong start: Pandya’s decision to bowl first backfired, facing a barrage from Mahendra Singh Dhoni. acknowledges CSK’s smart bowling plans, implying the lack of similar support from Rohit Sharma: Pandya’s handling of bowlers left experts puzzled, but he remains optimistic about upcoming matches on the road.

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