Monday, June 17, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 28/05

  1. The application deadline for the 2024/2025 ICT scholarship programme by the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and the President’s Fund has been extended to 7th June 2024. Students must complete applications carefully and get endorsements from relevant officials. Applications should be sent by registered post to the Secretary, President’s Fund, Colombo 10. The extension follows numerous student requests due to administrative issues and adverse weather.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says the so called ‘dunno socialists’ use Social Media to propagate false information against the SJB’s contribution as the Opposition thereby misleading the public, echoing what had happened in 2019: urges them to stop such deceptions and join the SJB to help the people of Sri Lanka, her hospitals and schools, as the benefit of such contributions are enjoyed by the people.
  3. Leader of the Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (NFF) Wimal Weerawansa says he had never used the term ‘womb war’ (garbasha yuddhaya) during the unrest provoked by the allegations levelled against Dr. Shyabdeen Safi: claims the allegations against Dr. Safi was levelled by the Director of Kurunegala Hospital and the aggrieved mothers: However, Director of Kurunegala Hospital Sarath Weera Bandara is widely known to be a close associate of Weerawansa, and there are substantial public footage to prove that the NFF Leader did use the term ‘womb war’ during his speeches in 2019.
  4. The Health Ministry and Sri Lanka Medical Nutrition Association (SLMNA) to improve in-patient meal quality at government hospitals: Meals to be packaged in trays with rice and curries arranged separately, covered with a transparent wrapper, and delivered directly to patients’ bedsides: A pilot project to begin at Maharagama Apeksha Hospital in July before expanding nationwide: Hospital kitchen staff to receive training from five-star hotel chefs and new uniforms to ensure high food hygiene standards: This initiative replaces the current system where patients collect meals from trolleys.
  5. Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says around 24 Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) currently lease Government-owned plantation land: warns if any company claims inability to pay the recently increased wages entitled to the plantation workers, the Finance Ministry will form a committee to investigate the matter: adds companies failing to meet the new wage standards due to internal inefficiencies risk losing their leases: asserts the GOSL is prepared to terminate tax agreements with non-compliant companies and seek news investors for the estates.
  6. Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) bans parking driverless vehicles outside the Arrival Terminal to reduce traffic congestion: Vehicles must now arrive at specified times and leave from designated parking areas: Drivers lingering over 30 minutes without valid reason will face a special fee: Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Athula Galketiya says these measures aim to streamline transport services and prevent unauthorised access.
  7. Heavy rains raise health authorities’ concerns about a surge in seasonal illnesses like dengue, leptospirosis, diarrheal diseases, and influenza: Experts warn that stagnant water from increased rainfall boosts Aedes mosquito breeding, escalating dengue risks: advise eliminating standing water and using mosquito repellents: An uptick in influenza cases is also noted: Flooded areas may spread leptospirosis, urging protective measures for those in waterlogged conditions: The monsoon season increases diarrheal diseases due to contaminated water, highlighting the need for clean drinking water and good hygiene: Additionally, respiratory infections rise, necessitating precautions against cold and flu.
  8. Elon Musk’s ‘Starlink’ satellite internet service is set to launch in Sri Lanka this year, following an invitation from President Ranil Wickremesinghe: Pre-orders are now open with a refundable $99 deposit: The service, pending regulatory approval, aims to start in 2024 and will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis: Starlink, which provides high-speed internet using low-orbit satellites, is already available in 32 countries: The service is especially effective in remote areas with limited internet access, offering speeds of 150 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload: Over 2,000 satellites have been launched since 2019.
  9. The CEB partially settles its outstanding dues to West Coast Power (Pvt.) Ltd by divesting a 28% shareholding in LTL Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd.: The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) reveals the CEB transferred the shares on Feb. 07, 2024, for a total consideration of over Rs. 26 billion: The transaction was carried out under Section 8.2 of the Listing Rules of the CSE: As a result, the CEB’s stake in LTL Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd has now been reduced to 35%.
  10. Marketing and Media Manager of the Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee Gobinath Sivaraja was arrested at the airport while trying to flee the country despite a travel ban, violating court orders and bail conditions: remanded until June 5 and is a suspect in a fraud case involving Secretary Maxwell de Silva: The probe includes alleged financial fraud in domestic sports organisations with international support.

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