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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 16/06

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe symbolically awards 442 out of the allotted 5,000 land deeds to the people of Mannar district under the ‘Urumaya’ national programme, the President’ Media Division (PMD) said.
  2. Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Minister Jeevan Thondaman says the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) will extend its support to President Ranil Wickremesinghe in the upcoming Presidential Polls: asserts the decision comes in as Wickremesinghe is a leader who listens to the requirements of the people of the Plantation Community.
  3. NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says the Provincial Council system will remain unchanged under their government until a new system fostering harmony among Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim communities is established: emphasises while the NPP views the Provincial Council system as inadequate for resolving national issues, it recognises its significance to Tamil and Muslim communities: affirms their policy to maintain the current Provincial Council system temporarily until a more permanent solution is determined.
  4. Pivithuru Hela Urumaya Leader Udaya Gammanpila says President Ranil Wickremesinghe is currently in third place among presidential contenders and is actively working to improve his position: highlights efforts such as distributing lands, increasing wages, offering concessions, and attempting to gain support from opposition members while aiming to remove the Rajapaksas from government: mentions plans for a July survey to assess Wickremesinghe’s standing, indicating that if he remains in third place, Wickremesinghe may decide not to contest the presidency to avoid leaving office with the lowest vote percentage in history: also cautions that the race dynamics could shift if the current frontrunner, Sajith Premadasa, makes strategic errors, potentially altering the election landscape.
  5. Recent whitefly infestations severely impact king coconut plantations across Sri Lanka, leading to a 36% drop in exports: In response to worsening conditions exacerbated by dry weather, a government initiative in 2023 invested Rs. 80 million in Margosa oil treatments, successfully curbing crop losses: Improved rainfall this year has aided in reducing whitefly populations, though a shortage of ripe king coconuts persists, affecting local farmers reliant on export revenue: Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera instructs collaboration between the Coconut Development Board and the Cultivation Board to establish district-based initiatives for cultivating king coconut seedlings, part of broader efforts to create 160 youth Agri-entrepreneurship villages nationwide.
  6. The government forms two special committees to gradually ease vehicle imports and develop guidelines: The first committee, led by Bri Ponnambalam of Alliance Agencies PLC, formulated a new vehicle policy to consider foreign exchange outflow and demand for automobiles: This report guided a roadmap presented to the IMF: Recently, State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya announced another committee to plan future vehicle import activities, focusing initially on public transport vehicles: The committees include stakeholders from finance, trade, motor traffic, and vehicle sectors: Plans include lifting restrictions on small cars first, with a broader policy expected soon.
  7. Prominent fashion retailer Fashion Bug with 14 flagship stores nationwide, has been recognised among the Top 10 Most-Loved Brands in the Retail Lifestyle category by LMD readers in their 2024 Annual Ranking: This accolade underscores Fashion Bug’s dedication to delivering excellent customer experiences and staying ahead in fashion trends: Director Shabier Subain attributed the honour to their team’s commitment and vowed to continue offering high-quality, affordable fashion that resonates with Sri Lankan tastes.
  8. 458 recruits from the Sri Lanka Navy’s 254th intake complete training at SLNS Nipuna, Boossa. Rear Admiral Nalindra Jayasinghe oversaw the ceremony, honouring 355 Regular Force and 103 Volunteer Force recruits: Outstanding performers received awards, including Best Recruit EAMLS Jayasinghe and Highest Aggregate achiever Woman Recruit PAPM Peramuna: Recruit WMPKM Dissanayake was recognised as Best Marksman: The ‘Sagara’ Division was praised as the best. Rear Admiral Jayasinghe stressed discipline and national security in his address.
  9. Severe recent floods in Sri Lanka, caused by monsoon rains, have affected over 253,500 people from 66,900 families, with 30 fatalities: Western, Sabaragamuwa, and North Western provinces, along with Galle and Matara districts, were worst hit: Major rivers overflowed, inundating villages and paddy fields: Annual flood-related losses total Rs. 32 bn, part of Sri Lanka’s Rs. 50 bn disaster loss yearly: Ex finance minister Ravi Karunanayake criticised past governments for inadequate infrastructure and urged sustainable flood management reforms.
  10. Vidyartha College defeats St Joseph’s College 27-22 in a thrilling opening match of the Dialog ‘A’ Division Schools League Rugby Tournament at Havelock Park: The teams were tied 17-17 at halftime: Vidyartha scored three goals and two penalties, with Rusith Thamodya named Player of the Match.

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