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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 10/06

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe attends Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, along with leaders from neighboring countries: His arrival was warmly received earlier that day at the airport, and the event featured a captivating Indian cultural performance: Modi’s victory in the recent Indian general election was highlighted, and Wickremesinghe’s visit garnered significant media attention in India.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa pledges to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution under a Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) administration: emphasises his commitment to implementing the amendment, which has been a recurring topic in Sri Lankan politics, unlike other politicians who have hesitated: reiterates his stance to enact the 13th Amendment nationwide, ensuring the rights of Sri Lankan citizens.
  3. Retired Police investigators Ravi Seneviratne and Shani Abeysekara publicly endorse the National Peoples Power (NPP) party led by MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake: praise praised Dissanayake as a potential future President and voice concerns about current law enforcement issues in Sri Lanka, while expressing confidence in the NPP’s development agenda: Both Seneviratne and Abeysekara are noted for handling controversial cases and faced challenges under former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
  4. Minister Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stresses the importance of preserving the state-owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) during an induction programme at Temple Trees: emphasises its role in the economy and daily commuting, announcing a fixed promotion system to ensure stability: Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena echoes this sentiment, marking a historic development in SLTB’s 67-year history.
  5. A strike initiated by the Sri Lanka Railway Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union leads to the suspension of over 20 commuter train services today, with more than 50 services cancelled yesterday: The strike, now in its fourth day, is due to grievances including promotion delays and recruitment issues: Only drivers from two out of five depots have joined the strike, affecting power set train operations: The union has warned of further escalation if their demands are not met.
  6. USAID is aiding Sri Lanka’s investment climate by improving access to commercial alternative dispute resolution (ADR): train and accredit 23 international commercial mediators, doubling Sri Lanka’s qualified mediators: These mediators, trained by the Singapore International Mediation Centre, will conduct around 100 commercial mediations by October 2026: Commercial mediation offers a faster, cost-effective resolution, preserving business relationships and supporting international trade: US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Doug Sonnek emphasises the US commitment to fostering a favourable investment climate in Sri Lanka through such partnerships: USAID’s Efficient and Effective Justice (EEJ) project also supports ADR training and pilot programs for judicial mediation, aiming to enhance the overall efficacy of Sri Lanka’s judicial process..
  7. Sri Lanka’s tourism sector sees a slowdown in May, with revenue dropping to $154 mn from April’s $225.7 mn: Despite challenges like the 2019 Easter attacks and pandemic-related restrictions, the industry has shown improvement compared to last year: However, global travel advisories and seasonal fluctuations continue to impact recovery efforts: Despite these challenges, tourism inflows over the past five months almost reached pre-pandemic levels, with close to 900,000 visitors: Tourist arrivals for June have seen a dip, with India being the main source of visitors, followed by the UK, China, and Bangladesh.
  8. Sri Lanka plans to invite EOIs for establishing a nuclear power plant as part of its long-term energy plans: Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara announced the intention to include nuclear energy in future generation plans, aiming to reduce reliance on imported oil, coal, and hydropower: Russia’s Rosatom offered to build a plant with two reactors generating 300 megawatts of energy: An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety review evaluated Sri Lanka’s site selection process, with six candidate sites identified: The review team provided recommendations to optimise site evaluation, emphasising adherence to IAEA safety standards: Sri Lanka sees nuclear energy as a low-carbon option to address climate change and bolster energy security, committing to nuclear power planning.
  9. Sri Lanka partners with China’s Deep Space Exploration Lab (DSEL) to join the global space race: Supreme Deep Space (Pvt) Ltd., a newly established Sri Lankan company, collaborates with DSEL to advance lunar and Mars missions: This partnership follows China’s successful Chang’e 6 lunar mission and aims to contribute to groundbreaking scientific endeavours: Sri Lanka’s cooperation with China may align with strategic interests amidst the US-China space competition: The collaboration focuses on various research initiatives, including cataloguing local expertise, 3D printing for lunar construction, water electrolysis for oxygen generation, and graphene-based space elevator technology: Supreme Deep Space will provide infrastructure for mission monitoring and control, supporting DSEL’s missions in real-time.
  10. Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Thushara reflects on lessons learned from IPL and T-20 World Cup matches, emphasising team success over personal achievements: highlights differences in pitch conditions between the IPL and T-20 World Cup, noting challenges for bowlers and batsmen: Sri Lanka’s team manager, Mahinda Halangoda, attributes their defeat to batting shortcomings and stresses the need for players to adapt to pitch conditions: Despite attempts to prepare, challenges with practice facilities hindered their training: Cricket experts urge players to take responsibility for performance in the T-20 format, emphasising the importance of adaptation and learning from mistakes.

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