Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 22/04

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe updates on granting free land rights to 2 million individuals and allocating ownership of 50,000 flats in Colombo to plantation communities: calls for setting aside partisan interests to achieve shared goals: further outlines plans for development programs in the Uva region, reaffirming the government’s commitment to regional growth.
  2. SJB MP (Dr.) Kavinda Jayawardena says his party has proposed the appointment of a special commission under a SJB-rule to serve justice to the Easter Sunday terror attack and to implement the recommendations received from it: asserts foreign judges and investigators are also being considered to be appointed to the said commission: adds the Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has also been informed in writing about it.
  3. SLFP National Organiser, MP Duminda Dissanayake says it would be questionable as to why Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa joins hands with Maithripala Sirisena amidst a crisis facing the party: alleges the former President sold out the SLFP to detach himself from the allegations levelled against him involving the Easter Sunday massacre: Yesterday, the Justice Minister was appointed as the Chairman of the SLFP.
  4. Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith expresses disappointment over the government’s inaction on recommendations from the Presidential Commission report on the Easter Sunday attacks: makes a staggering revelation that ex-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa conveyed his ‘inability’ to implement the PCoI recommendations, citing potential repercussions involving ‘individuals linked to organisations close to him’: criticises the government’s failure to initiate a fresh probe into the bombings: condemns the sale of national assets to foreign powers: stresses the need for governmental accountability and action to ensure justice for the victims while expressing broader concerns about national policies.
  5. The Department for Registration of Persons extends the deadline until June 30th for issuing National Identity Cards to individuals aged 40 and above who lack one: The move aims to aid those facing challenges, especially with birth certificates: The extension responds to requests for broader access to essential identification documents and emphasises the commitment to streamlining the NIC issuance process.
  6. The market’s prime lending rate hit a two-year low, dropping by 22 basis points to 10.41%: This continues a downward trend initiated by rate cuts last June: Treasury bill yields also decrease, aligning closely with policy rates: Despite concerns about excess liquidity, the lower lending rates are expected to boost economic recovery, facilitating increased credit disbursement by banks: This could help restore purchasing power eroded during periods of high inflation.
  7. Economic think tank Verité Research’s “State of the Budget Report 2024” reveals Sri Lanka faces persistent fiscal challenges: highlights a recurring shortfall in tax revenue over 33 years, with the government consistently missing targets: Despite an optimistic projection for 2024, the report predicts a 14% deficit, emphasising the need for more accurate fiscal planning: Overestimations in revenue streams like VAT and high interest-cost-to-revenue ratios pose hurdles to economic recovery and debt sustainability: adds policymakers must address these challenges by enhancing revenue collection, improving forecasting, and implementing prudent fiscal policies for sustainable growth.
  8. The United States Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and Sri Lanka Navy will collaborate in the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka 2024 exercise from April 22-26 in Trincomalee: This bilateral maritime exercise aims to boost naval capabilities and includes joint training sessions on maritime security and anti-terrorism operations: With approximately 70 U.S. personnel participating, CARAT strengthens the partnership between the two nations in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. The exercise was initiated in 1995 and marks its 30th anniversary.
  9. Following a tragic accident at the Fox Hill Super Cross event in Diyatalawa, Sri Lanka, authorities detains two drivers involved: The crash resulted in seven fatalities, including an eight-year-old girl, and injured at least 18 others: Both drivers are hospitalised and under arrest as investigations into the incident continue: The tragedy has raised concerns about safety measures at motorsports events, leading authorities to review the event’s safety protocols and management practices.
  10. Sri Lanka is gearing up to participate in the 19th Asian Under 20 Junior Athletics Championship in Dubai, UAE, from April 24th to 27th: Merone Wijesinghe from Ananda College will lead the men’s team, while Madhushani Herath from Nannapuruwa Maha Vidyalaya will lead the women’s team.

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