Thursday, May 30, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 29/04

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe joins the annual “Kithsiri Mela” New Year festival held at the Deans Road: This festival was organised for the 28th time by United National Party (UNP) Colombo Central Organiser Mr. Kithsiri Rajapakse, along with Maradana – Suduwella Sports Club.
  2. The SLFP, led by Nimal Siripala de Silva, meets with Indian High Commissioner Santosh Jha to distance themselves from remarks attributed to former Chairman Maithripala Sirisena regarding Indian involvement in the Easter Sunday attacks: Sirisena’s recent controversial statements have complicated the party’s internal dynamics, with divisions emerging: The SLFP faction opposing Sirisena clarifies their stance to the Indian envoy, emphasising the importance of cordial relations with India amidst ongoing legal disputes within the party.
  3. NPP Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake warns of potential collusion among rival political factions to thwart the NPP from gaining power in the upcoming presidential election: points out unresolved issues surrounding the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks and suggests that figures like former Presidents Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa, along with President Ranil Wickremesinghe, may unite against the NPP: adds despite shared policy goals, personal conflicts between Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa could pose challenges for this coalition: proposes potential election dates and urged supporters to actively engage in advocating for NPP perspectives: also raises questions about the Easter Sunday attacks and called for clarity on related matters to address ongoing instability in Sri Lanka.
  4. Multiple political parties are gearing up to celebrate International Labour Day on May 1st this year: The UNP will rally at Maligawatta, the SJB at Chatham Street and Talawakelle, the SLPP at Campbell Park, and the SLFP at Gampaha Municipal Council Grounds: The NPP will hold nationwide rallies under the theme “Rata Hadana Visandumata Jana Balaya Eka Pelata” (The Power of the People Aligns to Build the Country): In Colombo, the march starts at 2 pm from BRC Ground, with the rally at 3 pm at CWW Kannangara Mawatha. Jaffna, Matara, and Anuradhapura will also host rallies.
  5. The Central Bank is optimistic about the nation’s stability, citing the potential for economic recovery supported by IMF reforms: Inflation is expected to stay around 5%, and various sectors are projected to rebound, including tourism and remittances: Fiscal consolidation and reforms are deemed crucial for sustained progress amid challenges like climate change and geopolitical tensions.
  6. Sri Lanka’s apparel industry hit a milestone, surpassing $1 billion in revenue in Q1’24: March exports, totalling $418 million, were driven by growth in European and UK markets: While exports to the US slightly declined, those to the EU and UK grew: Overall, Q1 exports saw a slight dip of 0.69% compared to the previous year, totalling $1.174 billion: Despite challenges, the industry aims for a $4.5 billion revenue target in 2024.
  7. The Indian Coast Guard seizes a Pakistani boat off the Porbandar coast, Gujarat, intercepting 86 kilograms of suspected heroin valued at INR 602 crore: The narcotics were destined for Sri Lanka via Tamil Nadu: Fourteen crew members were arrested in a joint operation with the Anti-Terrorist Squad and the Narcotics Control Bureau.
  8. The Ceylon Teachers Service Union plans to take trade union action to address salary disparities in the education sector: intends to conduct a token strike involving deans and teachers from various educational institutions to draw attention to the issue: Union Secretary Dhammika Mirihana highlights the lack of allowances for these educators, leading to unfair treatment.
  9. Sri Lanka makes a partial payment of $35 million out of a $250 million debt owed to Iran for oil purchases from 2012: Initially delayed due to sanctions on Iran, Sri Lanka opts for a barter deal, exchanging tea for oil: As of February, $35 million has been settled, with another $10 million expected soon: Delays in the tea-for-oil arrangement arose from economic challenges in Sri Lanka.
  10. Sri Lankan para athletes excel at the World Para Athletic Grand Prix in Morocco, with Janani Dhananjana and Samitha Dulan securing gold medals and Anil Jayalath and Pradeep Somasiri winning silver medals: The event, crucial for Paralympics qualification, showcases Sri Lanka’s talent, with Dhananjana, Dulan, and others aiming for spots in the Paris Paralympics: With strong performances and personal bests, the Sri Lankan team is on track to secure multiple qualifications, boosting hopes for future competitions like the Para World Championship.

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