Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 05/05

  1. Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa commends President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s efforts to rescue Sri Lanka from its economic crisis and stabilise economic reforms during her meeting with the President: The meeting, which took place at the Presidential Secretariat, highlighted Japan’s support for Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.
  2. Opposition MP Harsha De Silva calls for an immediate parliamentary probe into VFS Global’s visa service ‘monopoly’ in Sri Lanka, citing concerns over the high fees and lack of transparency: questions the need for paying what he termed as ‘monopoly rent’ amounting to Rs. 18 billion over the next year: urges scrutiny of the TORs for such services and stresses the need for alternative options to be explored: highlights the lack of transparency surrounding the agreement.
  3. A 10-member delegation from Sri Lanka, including representatives from the Election Commission and PCOI, will participate in India’s International Election Visitor Programme from May 4 to May 9, 2024: The initiative aims to familiarise international election bodies with India’s electoral system, featuring briefing sessions and site visits to observe election procedures.
  4. The Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith reiterates the existence of a conversation with former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, refuting Rajapaksa’s denial: criticises Rajapaksa’s handling of the Easter Sunday attacks and accuses him of transferring intelligence officers involved in the investigation: questions the current government’s failure to implement recommendations and calls for accountability: The Cardinal previously claimed that Rajapaksa told him over the telephone of his inability to execute the recommendations by the PCoI appointed to probe the genocide due to ‘potential repercussions on individuals and organisations with close ties to him.’
  5. The Power and Energy Ministry hosts a delegation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) led by Riccardo Puliti, Regional Vice President of Asia & the Pacific: Discussions focus on advancing renewable energy goals, electricity sector reforms, and financing challenges: Minister Kanchana Wijesekara highlights the need for innovative risk-mitigating tools for renewable energy projects: The presence of IFC and World Bank officials demonstrated their commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s energy transition.
  6. During a meeting at the ADB Annual Meeting in Georgia, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa assures Sri Lanka of continued support for its development efforts: Finance State Minister Shehan Semasinghe conveys Asakawa’s commendation for Sri Lanka’s economic progress and governance initiatives outlined in a diagnostic report by President Ranil Wickramasinghe’s government.
  7. The Meteorology Department issues a warning stating that the heat index, which measures the temperature felt on the human body, will reach ‘Extreme Caution level’ in some areas of Northern, North-central, North-western, and Eastern provinces, as well as Monaragala district: Additionally, it will rise to ‘Caution level’ in certain places in Western, Sabaragamuwa, and Southern provinces: urges the public to stay hydrated, take breaks in the shade, check on the elderly and sick, avoid leaving children unattended, limit strenuous outdoor activities, and wear lightweight and light-coloured clothing.
  8. Sri Lanka and the UK will hold their second strategic dialogue on May 7, 2024, in Colombo, focusing on foreign policy, security, trade, and other bilateral engagements: This meeting follows the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and will be led by senior officials from both sides.
  9. The Examinations Department releases the re-scrutiny results for the 2022 (2023) General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (O/L) Examination: A total of 49,312 candidates applied for re-scrutiny, leading to the examination of 250,311 responses: The results are available on the official websites of the Ministry of Education, and individuals can contact the Examinations Department for further information.
  10. The SLBFE says over 2,771 Sri Lankans have headed to Israel for employment in sectors like construction and healthcare in the past four months, with plans to send more workers later this year: The Sri Lankan and Israeli governments signed an MoU to facilitate these opportunities: Additionally, the government aims to send around 350,000 skilled workers abroad, focusing on Middle Eastern and European countries, and plans to expand vocational training facilities to meet this demand.

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