Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 14/05

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe wishes the Sri Lankan Cricket Team success in the upcoming Twenty-20 World Cup Cricket Tournament: congratulates the players for their representation and dedication: The team, led by Wanidu Hasaranga, is departing on the 14th: Additionally, he met with the victorious Sri Lankan Rugby team, praising their triumph in the Asian Rugby Championship.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says the SJB stands with the Palestinian people regardless of race and religion against decades of injustice to the people of Palestine: urges the Israeli government to stop these heinous attacks and massacres immediately: laments the Israeli government, in what he described as a ‘murderous regime’ destroys the lives of the Palestinian people.
  3. Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, met with representatives of the NPP at the Galle Face Hotel: US Ambassador Julie Chung also attends: discuss Sri Lanka’s economic situation, engagement with the IMF, electoral integrity, and regional security dynamics: The meeting highlights the growing significance of the NPP in Sri Lanka’s political landscape.
  4. Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Minister Jeevan Thondaman affirms the government’s readiness to confront any legal challenges from estate companies opposing the recent wage increase for estate workers: highlights progress in addressing drinking water scarcity in Jaffna and emphasises the government’s commitment to improving the quality of life for estate workers: notes estate companies swiftly increased wages following the government’s decision to set a daily wage of Rs. 1700 for estate workers.
  5. Education Minister Susil Premajayantha reveals that out of 34,000 pre-school teachers and assistants in Sri Lanka, only 6,000 hold diplomas: with 18,800 pre-schools nationwide, he expresses concern over the lack of formal qualifications among a significant number of staff: also emphasises the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD) and suggested replacing terms like “Montessori” and “pre-school” with “Early Childhood Development Centres”: Furthermore cites a UNICEF report highlighting that 20% of children who should have access to pre-school education are currently deprived of it.
  6. Law enforcement conducts a nationwide operation targeting over 178,600 temporary residents over two days to address concerns about criminal activities, especially drug trafficking, linked to temporary accommodations: Directed by the IGP, the operation aims to gather and verify information on temporary residents outside their permanent police jurisdictions, yielding data on 112,963 individuals from rented houses and 34,133 individuals from rented rooms: Each person’s information will undergo thorough scrutiny, including cross-referencing with databases like AMIS, AFIS, and the Police Narcotics Bureau database, to identify any potential involvement in criminal activities.
  7. The Central Bank urges businesses to understand the current exchange rate system to manage risks from currency fluctuations effectively: Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe emphasises the need for businesses, especially exporters, to comprehend the exchange rate mechanism to avoid losses: explains fixing the exchange rate isn’t feasible without addressing underlying macroeconomic issues: Meanwhile, Bingumal Thewarathanthri of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association anticipated a stronger rupee after external debt restructuring, but cautioned exporters about potential challenges.
  8. The National Physical Planning Department plans to designate 20 more religious sites as sacred areas this year, with nine already gazetted: President Ranil Wickremesinghe will inaugurate the National Vesak festival in Matale from May 21 to 27, where the Kshetrarama Rajamaha Viharaya will be designated as a sacred area: Minister Prasanna Ranatunga highlights the criteria for such designations and instructed relevant departments to address issues: Sri Lanka has already gazetted 130 sacred areas, with the impending designation in Matale being the 130th: Approval from various departments is necessary for the gazettement process.
  9. Farmers in Anuradhapura struggle with low lime prices while middlemen profit from inflated urban rates: Asela Sampath of the National Consumers’ Organisation calls for action to address farmers’ exploitation, suggesting mechanisms to preserve surplus produce and government intervention to distribute it to schools and institutions.
  10. Upul Tharanga, chairman of the national selection committee, expresses confidence in Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup team: Matheesha Pathirana’s medical reports allow his participation, and Janith Liyanage was added to the squad due to visa issues: Young spinner Dunith Wellalage was chosen over Jeffrey Vandersay and Akila Dhananjaya for his suitability in power play stages: Vijayakanth Viyaskanth was selected as a travel reserve due to his performance in franchise tournaments: emphasises collective decision-making and readiness for varied pitch conditions in the upcoming tournament: SL plans to adapt during their USA pre-tournament stint.

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