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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 09/06

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has left for New Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi: His attendance departure comes in at the invitation of Modi.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, referring the JVP to ‘red elephants’ alleges the leftist party made a deal with the President in what he described as ‘a bid to challenge him for debate on air at state media’: claims the JVP has no economic council and brags about a debate between leaders detouring the SJB’s original proposition of a debate between the two parties’ economic councils: reiterates his position that two separate debates should be held on two separate dates between the economic councils of the NPP and the SJB, and between the Party leaders: further accuses NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake of playing ‘a solo drama’ on state-media, after what he described as ‘a plea’ before the President.
  3. Three MPs’ statements have been recorded regarding an alleged assault on MP Gunathilaka Rajapaksha, with plans to present them to court: No statement has been taken from the accused, Mahindananda Aluthgamage: A complaint filed with the Fort Police Station details the incident, claiming Aluthgamage caused Rajapaksha’s broken leg after a meeting at the President’s office: Rajapaksha is currently receiving treatment at the Army Hospital.
  4. Elon Musk thanks President Ranil Wickremesinghe for approving Starlink satellite internet services in Sri Lanka, aiming to revolutionise connectivity: The move promises faster internet access, particularly benefiting youth and remote communities: The initial setup cost is estimated between $400 and $600, with a monthly fee of $99: Starlink’s expansion targets underserved regions like South Asia, where large rural populations lack reliable internet access despite rapid urbanisation.
  5. Remittances to Sri Lanka rose by 13.5% in May 2024, reaching $544.4 mn, attributed to more expatriates using official banking channels: Total remittances for the first five months of the year hit $2,624.4 mn, up by 11.8%: The growth follows the Central Bank’s abandonment of parallel exchange rates, encouraging expatriates to use formal banking channels: In 2023, remittances through formal banking surged by 57%, reaching $5.97 bn: This growth is linked to the removal of parallel exchange rates: Sri Lanka’s external sector is recovering, aided by a halt in money printing.
  6. Sri Lanka sees a surge in dengue cases, with 700 reported in the past week, likely due to rainy conditions creating more mosquito breeding sites: In 2024, there have been 25,619 cases, with the Colombo district reporting the most at 5,554: Urgent measures are advised, including cleanliness and eliminating breeding sites, as the Western Province has recorded the highest number of cases.
  7. Sri Lanka secures a 3-year term on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) starting January 1, 2025, following its election by the UN General Assembly: With 182 out of 189 votes, Sri Lanka ranked second in its region and seventh overall: This marks Sri Lanka’s fourth consecutive victory in multilateral elections: As an ECOSOC member, Sri Lanka will contribute to various initiatives, including poverty eradication and climate justice.
  8. Sri Lankan rubber exporters ought to comply with EU deforestation regulations by December 31, 2024, leading to a decline in rubber production and cultivated areas: CH17 Digital offers a solution for seamless EU compliance, ensuring continued access to the EU market: The programme includes monitoring worker performance and tree data collection, supporting the rubber industry’s digital transformation: CH17 also collaborates with the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka to reward and empower rubber tappers through certification and loyalty programmes.
  9. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) denies involvement in an alleged plot to extend the term of Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam, amidst reports linking the Easter Sunday attacks to the extension request: refutes claims of a meeting with the President to discuss the matter and asserts that Rajaratnam has not acted on recommendations from the inquiry into the attacks: The Constitutional Council is reportedly considering a six-month extension for Rajaratnam, but no decision has been reached.
  10. Sri Lankan bodybuilding champion Vishwa Tharuka won Bronze in the Men’s Sports Physique category at the 14th South Asian Bodybuilding Championship: Supported by Sri Lanka’s sports federation, Vishwa dedicated the win to his late wife, whose support motivated his success.

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