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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 06/06

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe announces Sri Lanka’s aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, marking a pioneering step in Asian policy: highlights Sri Lanka’s integration of climate objectives into economic and foreign policy frameworks: unveils plans for a Climate Change Act and a Climate Change Centre to address environmental concerns comprehensively: also proposes legislation for an International University on Climate Change: he urges developed countries to support low-income nations while encouraging tropical countries to mobilise resources for climate change management.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says a group of Sri Lankan citizens who were sent to Myanmar and Russia with the promise of being granted civil jobs are severely suffering: laments those who were sent to Russia for civil jobs even lost their lives due to being redirected to the Russian-Ukrainian war: urges that the government must intervene immediately.
  3. The new alliance formed by a faction of the SLFP is set to hold its inaugural rally in Hambantota on June 08 at 2 pm: Minister Mahinda Amaraweera is said to be organising this event: MP Nimal Lanza says with the formation of the ‘New Alliance’ they hope to go forward stronger, with other political parties, trade unions, civil organisations being expected to join in the future: The New Alliance is backed by MPs Nimal Siripala De Silva, Mahinda Amaraweera, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Duminda Dissanayake, Susil Premjayantha, Nalin Fernando, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Nimal Lanza, and Priyankara Jayaratne.
  4. The Supreme Court nullifies ex President Sirisena’s pardon to murder convict Don Shamantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha, deeming it arbitrary and unlawful: The decision, following a Fundamental Rights petition by the Women & Media Collective, cited non-compliance with constitutional provisions and violation of the petitioner’s rights: The court directed lawful measures regarding Jayamaha’s sentence implementation, involving legal representation from various parties.
  5. The Finance Ministry announces state-owned banks are undergoing significant reforms to adopt more commercially-driven business models and strengthen capital adequacy and governance: Despite efforts, these banks are still reliant on corporate lending and are facing challenges in transforming their business models away from directed lending: Asset quality remains crucial, particularly due to their involvement in higher-risk subsidised development lending: require a substantial capital injection of Rs. 1.4 trillion to address bad loans accumulated during economic crises and debt restructuring: Under IMF guidelines, weaker banks may be merged into stronger ones, and restructuring struggling state-owned banks is also being considered: The GOSL plans to protect retail investors by not selling shares until banks are profitable for at least two consecutive years: The Finance Ministry will establish a specialised unit to manage the state’s shareholdings in state-owned banks, with external auditors appointed to ensure transparency and accountability.
  6. State Minister Kanaka Herath says the TRCSL granted preliminary approval to Starlink for satellite-based internet in Sri Lanka: Final approval awaits a public consultation process for transparency: PMD to release details soon: The move aims to ensure inclusive decision-making and improve connectivity, especially in remote areas. Starlink’s satellite technology promises high-speed internet nationwide.
  7. Today, Parliament debates the government’s Electricity Bill amid strong opposition: The bill aims to reform the sector but faces criticism for constitutional inconsistencies and rushed implementation: Critics highlight concerns about consumer protection, political interference, and national security: Trade unions threaten to defeat it, alleging no benefits for workers or consumers: Industry experts also raise apprehensions about its impact and lack of expertise in the proposed advisory council: Despite its objectives, the bill’s current form prompts calls for thorough review and amendments.
  8. Geologist Professor Athula Senaratne highlights challenges in forecasting recent adverse weather due to inadequate equipment: laments the absence of necessary instruments hindered timely warnings for heavy rains, stressing the importance of proper equipment for accurate forecasting: points out systemic gaps in rainfall measurement infrastructure, advocating for investment and modernisation to enhance Sri Lanka’s resilience against extreme weather.
  9. Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara announces the CEB is set to propose revisions to electricity tariffs, with plans to submit its proposal to the Public Utility Commission (PUCSL) either tomorrow or on Monday: adds these revisions are anticipated to take effect from July 1: The proposed revisions include reductions in tariffs across various consumption categories, such as a reduction from Rs. 8 to Rs. 6 per unit for the 0-30 unit category, and from Rs. 20 to Rs. 9 for the 30-60 unit category: Additionally, reductions are suggested for the 60-90 unit category (from Rs. 30 to Rs. 18) and the 90-120 unit category (from Rs. 50 to Rs. 30): indicates the CEB’s readiness to consider further relief on tariffs if recommended by the PUCSL.
  10. Sri Lanka Athletics announce a crucial National Open Stage II athletics competition, now upgraded to a World Athletics Category ‘E’ event, to serve as a special trial for the Olympics: Key athletes like Yupun Abeykoon, Kalinga Kumarage, Aruna Dharshana, Tharushi Karunaratne, Gayanthika Abeyratne, and Nadeeka Dilhani Lekamge are gearing up for the challenge: Abeykoon’s injury might hinder his participation, affecting his Olympic chances: The Nationals and special trial offer a chance for athletes to improve timings and accumulate points before the June 30 qualification deadline set by the IOC and WA.

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