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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 02/06

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasises the constitutional priority of Buddhism: stresses the responsibility of the executive, legislature, and judiciary to uphold Buddhist principles, highlighting any opposition as a constitutional breach: shares progress on a critically ill patient’s recovery and thanked the Maha Sangha for support.
  2. The SLFP faction led by Nimal Siripala De Silva convenes a special central committee meeting today: State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna says all central committee members and all electoral organisers have been informed to take participation in the event: adds the new alliance led by the SLFP will convene its first public rally on June 08, and matters related to the rally will be discussed in today’s meeting: However, ex President Maithripala Sirisena, whose chairmanship of the party is temporarily suspended by court order says today’s central committee meeting is ‘unlawful’: asserts such meetings cannot be convened by a minority within the party.
  3. Former JVP MP and member of the NPP’s Economic Council Sunil Hadunnetti clarifies his recent remarks regarding billionaire businessman Elon Musk, stating that he did not intend to categorise Musk as an ‘economic hit-man’: expresses regret for any misunderstanding, highlighting that his comments on economic hit-men were aimed at individuals associated with the previous Ranil Wickremesinghe regime, namely James Packer and George Soros: emphasises Sri Lanka’s challenges, including instability, political interference, and lawlessness, which deter renowned investors: apologises to Musk, asserting that his remarks were misquoted and not directed towards Musk.
  4. Defence State Minister Premitha Bandara Tennakoon pays tribute to war heroes and their families at a Sri Lanka Army event in Diyatalawa: Help desks were set up to assist retired personnel and war hero families, addressing grievances and providing support: Plans for healthcare, preferential services, land allocation, job quotas, and a subsidised loan scheme were discussed, aiming to prioritise the welfare of veterans and their families.
  5. The Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy says the power supply has been disconnected to several areas as a precautionary measure due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions and floods: Several areas in the Galle, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Colombo and Kegalle districts will experience the power outage.
  6. The Meteorology Department issues a stern warning regarding continued showers and thundershowers in the southwestern part of the island, affecting Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, and Southern provinces: Very heavy showers exceeding 150 mm are anticipated in Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces, as well as in Galle and Matara districts: urges the public to take necessary precautions to minimise damages caused by temporary localised strong winds and lightning during thundershowers: All schools will be temporarily be closed from tomorrow.
  7. Hoteliers, tourism authorities, and law enforcement are dismayed by NATA’s decision to ban ‘Happy Hour’ promotions, citing it as harmful to tourism and consumers: NATA instructed hotels to stop offering alcohol discounts, threatening fines for non-compliance under the NATA Act No. 27 of 2006: While NATA defends its stance, industry leaders criticise it as damaging to business and tourism recovery: SLTDA Chairman Priyantha Fernando vows to escalate the issue, while Commissioner General of Excise M. J. Gunasiri suggests a review at the next NATA Board Meeting: NATA Chairman Dr. Alan Ludowyke, unavailable for comment.
  8. LMD’s latest edition reports a modest uptick in Sri Lanka’s business confidence for the third consecutive month, with the LMD-PEPPERCUBE Business Confidence Index reaching 99 points in May: Despite the improvement, it remains below the all-time average but slightly above last year’s level: PepperCube Consultants attribute this optimism to cautious economic outlooks, signalling a preference for maintaining sales volumes: However, challenges persist, including the cost of doing business and tax and interest rates: The global economy, as per the IMF, faces uncertainties despite steady growth and inflation deceleration: Locally, pending agreements on debt restructuring add to economic turbulence, with hopes pinned on the completion of negotiations by mid-year, aiming to reduce borrowings to 95% of GDP by 2032.
  9. The Department of Irrigation reports alarming floods hit Millakanda and Pitabeddara areas: Heavy rainfall, up to 149.8 mm, inundates Millakanda region along Kalu River: Overflowing riverbanks cause widespread damage to infrastructure, including major roads: Communities face disruptions to daily life as authorities mobilise resources for relief efforts.
  10. Sri Lanka’s top women’s golfer Kaya Daluwatte clinches victory at the 10th Nepal Amateur Golf Championship held at Gokarna Golf Club in Kathmandu: finishes four under-par with five birdies and one eagle, securing the title in stunning fashion: Daluwatte’s impressive performance, including a final round of 68, propelled her to victory, with India’s Dia Cris Kumar trailing in second place: The championship featured 65 players from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, supported by various organisations including the National Sports Council and Nepal Tourism Board.

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