Sunday, June 16, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 19/05

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe discusses implementing ‘Starlink’ in Sri Lanka with billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk during the 10th World Water Forum in Indonesia: asserts commitment to expediting the application process for integrating Sri Lanka into the global Starlink network, which aims to provide low-cost internet access to remote areas: Minister Jeevan Thondaman praises the collaboration between the two parties.
  2. SJB MP Nalin Bandara responds to NPP’s stance on a debate between the two Opposition parties, suggesting that a debate between the rival ‘economic councils’ should be held prior to the holding of another between the party leaders Sajith Premadasa and Anura Dissanayake: invites the NPP to select a convenient date from May 27 to 31 for the debate between the councils: adds a debate between the party leaders can be held on a convenient date from June 03 to 07.
  3. The CEB records a Rs. 88.3 billion profit in 1Q24, reversing a Rs. 35.3 billion loss from 1Q23, despite high electricity bills and the disconnection of over a million poor households: The profit comes amidst government restructuring efforts and widespread protests against the new Sri Lanka Electricity Bill: Revenue for 1Q24 was Rs. 179 billion, with significant reductions in costs: The CEB plans to reduce tariffs in July but has not yet submitted proposals for approval: Past tariff hikes were in line with IMF conditions.
  4. The Sri Lanka Army under the authorisation of President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief promotes a total of 114 officers and 1,395 other ranks of the Sri Lanka Army to their next ranks, in commemoration of the 15th Victory Day Anniversary: The promotions are effective from 19 May 2024, coinciding with the National War Heroes Commemoration Day.
  5. President’s senior advisor on climate change Ruwan Wijewardena says several countries around the world spearheaded by India and China have stepped into collaborate and contribute towards the establishment of International Climate Change University in Sri Lanka considering their responsibility for climate action.
  6. The government is set to resume “Suraksha” student insurance programme, which had earlier been on an economic hiatus: Starting the first week of June, it will cover all school students nationwide: The decision follows the approval of a Joint Cabinet Referendum from President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilisation and National Policy and Education Minister Susil Premajayantha.
  7. The Defence Ministry receives over 400 complaints about Sri Lankan citizens allegedly recruited by mercenary companies to fight in the Russia-Ukraine war: A probe was initiated after reports of Sri Lankans, especially ex-military, being trafficked for the conflict: A hotline was set up for families to lodge complaints, resulting in 411 received so far: Both ex-soldiers and civilians are said to have been recruited: The government is set to send a delegation to Russia to identify and repatriate these citizens.
  8. The Indian Coast Guard detain seven Sri Lankan nationals and their fishing boat for poaching in Indian waters off the Kanniyakumari coast: The suspects are to be handed over to the marine police for further legal action: This follows a similar incident on May 16, where 14 Sri Lankan fishermen were detained for illegal fishing of sea cucumbers.
  9. Lord David Cameron reiterates Britain’s commitment to improving human rights in Sri Lanka, reflecting on his 2013 visit to Jaffna and emphasising support for truth, justice, and accountability: British MP Thangam Debbonaire criticises Sri Lanka’s failure to investigate war crimes and called for British support for the Tamil community and action based on UN recommendations: Other UK politicians express solidarity with Tamils on Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day, stressing the need for justice for those killed in the conflict’s final phase.
  10. The fifth edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) player auction will take place on May 21 at the Hilton Hotel Colombo: 420 players are available, with the auction starting at noon and featuring 18 initial rounds focused on various player categories: has a total purse of $2.5 million from five franchises: The LPL tournament will run from July 1 to July 21, with more than 600 players registered, including international stars.

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