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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 01/05

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his message commemorating Labour Day extends an invitation to all political parties to unite in shaping a prosperous future for the nation: set to attend two May Day rallies: Firstly, in the Ceylon Workers’ Congress rally at 10 am in Kotagala Public Grounds; then, in the afternoon, the United National Party’s rally starting near Maligawatta Police in Colombo.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa laments Sri Lanka, which has been deceived once by a lie, has become bankrupt, and is currently in debt of more than US$ 100 billion both domestically and internationally: adds to overcome this, information technology education and knowledge-based education should be fostered: asserts the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) is the only political party that has done work in its role as the Opposition in Sri Lanka’s 76-year history and no other opposition has done such work for the people of the country.
  3. K.D. Lalkantha, a member of JVP’s polit-bureau and NPP’s executive committee, says the JVP is no longer socialist: advocates for ‘economic democracy’ and a ‘multi-party system,’ different from ‘traditional socialist’ ideologies: asserts their model focuses on ensuring every citizen contributes to and benefits from the economy, rejecting both socialism and capitalism: proposes economic involvement for all, including small-scale entrepreneurs, but not government control over industries: stresses their approach differs from the SJB’s ideology, emphasising economic democracy and limited government intervention in the economy.
  4. The Wages Board raises the minimum daily wage for tea estate workers to Rs. 1,700, addressing concerns about wage levels and living standards in the industry: The decision, announced through a gazette notification by Commissioner General of Labour H.K.K.A. Jayasundara, signifies a development in the labour landscape of the tea sector.
  5. State Minister Indika Anuruddha Herath addresses concerns about the Uma Oya Project, denying reports of major issues since its public ownership: warns against misleading information, highlighting the project’s significant delays and financial losses: asserts a team of geologists will assess reported concerns, and the government aims to increase renewable energy sources to prevent future crises: Initiatives to expedite solar and wind power projects are underway, alongside efforts to boost rooftop solar panel output.
  6. The Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) rises to 1.5% in April 2024 from 0.9% in March: Food inflation decreases to 2.9%, while non-food inflation rises to 0.9%: Price increases in transport, education, and other categories contributed to the rise, while housing and health see decreases compared to April 2023.
  7. CEYPETCO announces fuel price reductions effective April 30: Lanka Petrol 92: Reduced by Rs. 3 to Rs. 368/litre; Lanka Petrol 95: Reduced by Rs. 20 to Rs. 420/litre; Lanka Auto Diesel: Reduced by Rs. 30 to Rs. 333/litre; Lanka Super Diesel 4 Star: Reduced by Rs. 9 to Rs. 377/litre; Lanka Kerosene: Reduced by Rs. 30 to Rs. 215/litre.
  8. Tourism Minister Harin Fernando aims to resolve technical issues with the new visa system by May 7th, responding to concerns over potential losses in tourism: The system transitioned to IVS-GBS and VFS Global, offering a multiple-entry visa at $75 with a maximum 60-day stay, removing the single-entry option: expresses disappointment, assuring efforts to address the issue and maintain the 30-day single-entry visa: Despite the $18.5 service fee, the Minister pledges to resolve technical challenges before the global promotion campaign in May.
  9. Four individuals arrested in Kollupitiya for impersonating CID officers and extorting Rs. 10 million have been remanded until May 14 by the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court: They were apprehended by Bribery Commission officers following a complaint filed by a Dehiwala resident.
  10. A study conducted by SDIG Priyantha Weerasuriya reveals 7.2% of HQIs, OICs, and Sectional OICs permanently reside within the police divisions they serve, posing potential biases: This phenomenon, particularly notable in Mannar, Anuradhapura, and Matara, may impact crime prevention efforts: Recommendations to address housing challenges and biases have been proposed, with the Police Headquarters pledging action.

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