Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 18/04

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe visits the Court Lodge Estate, owned by the Udupusellawa Plantation Company in Nuwara Eliya to explore opportunities for the revival of the tourism industry around the picturesque hills of Nuwara Eliya: Notably, the President embarked on this journey by traversing the Pekoe Trail.
  2. The final rites of former UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma, who tragically passed away due to an electrocution accident, will be held tomorrow (19) at 2:00 PM at his residence in Yatadholawatte, Mathugama. Thewarapperuma will be laid to rest in a grave he had prepared on his estate.
  3. The National People’s Power (NPP) unveils a plan to address the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attack, focusing on justice for victims and their families, under an NPP-rule: proposes establishing a special Commission of Inquiry with full judicial powers to ensure swift justice: vows rigorous enforcement of the law against all involved and pledges to prioritise ongoing cases related to the attack: also promises a compensation mechanism for victims and those who suffered property damage.
  4. The Colombo District Court extends the interim injunction against former President Maithripala Sirisena’s role as the Chairman of the SLFP until May 9: The decision was made during a hearing prompted by a case filed by former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga: This injunction follows an earlier order issued on April 4: Meanwhile, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has been appointed as the Acting Chairman of the SLFP by the party’s politburo.
  5. The proposed reforms for the electricity sector, titled ‘Sri Lanka Electricity Bill’, were officially published in the government gazette on Wednesday (17): Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara announces the Bill would be tabled in Parliament during the upcoming session: adds that revisions suggested by stakeholders in January have been included in the updated version: Additionally, the public will have a two-week period to challenge the Bill’s legality in the Supreme Court after its presentation in Parliament.
  6. Prominent economic news agency Bloomberg reports that Standard Chartered strategists believe that Sri Lanka aims to finalise a deal with investors to restructure its $12 billion global bonds by mid-May: Talks with bondholders are ongoing, focusing on the structure of “macro-linked” bonds tied to economic performance: Delays could coincide with upcoming presidential elections: Sri Lanka’s dollar bonds see gains, and Finance State Minister Shehan Semasinghe expresses hope for progress in discussions with bondholders and the IMF: Securing a restructuring deal is crucial for Sri Lanka to access financing from its $3 billion IMF bailout amid its $27 billion foreign debt restructuring efforts.
  7. Iranian emergency services rescues 21 Sri Lankan crew members after their ship capsized in heavy storms in the Gulf of Oman: The Cook Islands-flagged vessel, carrying oil, encountered distress off Jask: A rescue vessel saved the crew, with five receiving medical treatment: The incident happened amid severe weather conditions impacting the region, resulting in floods and casualties in Oman.
  8. Pradeep Kurukulasuriya of Sri Lankan origin has been named Executive Secretary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), focusing on mobilising finance for development impact, particularly in Least Developed Countries (LDCs): He aims to blend grants, loans, and guarantees to address last-mile challenges in deploying finance, emphasising collaboration with UN agencies, governments, donors, and the private sector.
  9. Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, a prominent LGBTQIA+ rights activist in Sri Lanka, has been recognised as an Icon in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2024: Time magazine commends Caldera’s tireless advocacy spanning over two decades, notably her successful legal challenge against Sri Lanka’s prohibition on same-sex intimacy among women: This landmark case elevated LGBTQIA+ rights in Sri Lanka’s political discourse, leading to legislative proposals for decriminalisation.
  10. Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu’s explosive 195 not out led Sri Lanka to a historic victory against South Africa, chasing down 302 runs, the highest-ever successful run-chase in women’s ODIs: Athapaththu’s innings ranks third highest in women’s ODIs and second in successful run chases across genders: Despite Laura Wolvaardt’s stellar 184, Sri Lanka’s remarkable chase overshadowed South Africa’s strong performance.

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