Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 13/05

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe outlines plans for Sri Lanka’s economic growth and government reforms, aiming for a 3% growth rate by 2025: announces measures to raise government employee salaries and introduce key laws for economic development, including granting autonomy to the Central Bank: emphasises the importance of investment in education and healthcare.
  2. CoPF Chief Dr. Harsha De Silva reveals the Office of International Trade (OIT) highlighted its staffing challenges to the Committee: adds the Chief Negotiator, A.G. Weerasinghe, revealed that the OIT lacks personnel for feasibility studies on pending FTAs with China and Thailand: proposes discussing the future of the Department of Commerce, suggesting either its continuation or closure, with a potential transfer of officers to the OIT if the Commerce Department ceases operations.
  3. Ex President Mahinda Rajapaksa calls for the government to postpone plans to privatise national assets and state-owned enterprises until after a new government is elected: cites concerns over unrest among trade unions, political groups, and citizens, arguing that selling state-owned assets during the current interim period might not benefit the nation: Opposition MPs and former SLPP member MP Charitha Herath respond, urging the SLPP to oppose the government’s actions in Parliament and questioning the implications for President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s position.
  4. State Minister Dilum Amunugama announces Sri Lanka’s ambitious goal to triple its investment target for 2024, aiming to attract over US$ 3 bn in investments: expresses confidence in the country’s improved investment landscape, citing a remarkable 200% improvement compared to two years ago: adds efforts to promote investment abroad have begun, with representatives appointed to the investment board and notable successes achieved in countries like Britain, Canada, France, Italy, and Germany.
  5. To combat the entry of unsafe medicines, the NMRA plans to introduce security stickers on pharmaceutical registration certificates after recent scandals involving fraudulent certificates: Chairman Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama announced this move to ensure the authenticity of certificates, with implementation expected within a month pending receipt of the new stickers.
  6. The IORA Business Conclave hosted by The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will focus on key sectors like Agriculture, ICT, Logistics, and Tourism: With participation from various countries, including Australia, India, and Malaysia, the event aims to foster strategic alliances and explore emerging trends: Featuring plenary sessions, breakout sessions, and B-2-B meetings, the Conclave offers insights into disruptive technologies and sustainable practices across the Indian Ocean Rim: Strategic Partners include the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank, among others.
  7. The passenger ferry service between Nagapattinam and Kankesanthurai faces a delay, pushed from May 13 to May 17 due to vessel arrival and regulatory requirements: Reservations for May 13-16 will be rescheduled for May 17.
  8. Public Security Minister Tiran Alles vows strict action against police misconduct in the “Yukthiya” Operation, addressing concerns of human rights abuses and collusion with criminals: refutes claims of wrongful detentions under the operation, emphasising its focus on apprehending drug traffickers: While acknowledging issues within certain police stations, Alles pledges to uphold law enforcement integrity and combat drug-related crimes.
  9. Sri Lankan author Kumar Hewage releases new book, “Beyond Myth, Rama, Ravana & the Secret of Star Gate”: The book follows the deciphering of the past involving the symbolism of Ramayanaya, legend of Ravana and Sigiriya, a lost scholar’s legacy, and the power of meditation: The journey leads them through the timeless epic of Ramayana, exploring hidden corners of India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia: The book is now available on Kindle.
  10. Sri Lanka ‘A’ team displays a strong performance on day two against Afghanistan ‘A’ at P. Sara Oval Stadium, scoring 435 runs in their first innings: Sonal Dinusha (145) and Wanuja Sahan (75) shone, with Dinusha almost reaching 150 before being stumped: Afghanistan ‘A’ lost one wicket and scored 18 runs by the close of play: Zia-ur-Rehman took 6 wickets for Afghanistan, while Milan Ratnayake dismissed Afghanistan’s opener for a duck: The match will resume at 9:45 a.m. on the third day.

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