Saturday, July 20, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 20/06

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe outlines plans for Sri Lanka’s children, targeting economic recovery within two years and ensuring no child suffers: Initiatives like the Aswasuma for income support, Urumaya for land rights, and educational scholarships were emphasised during a ceremony where 5,108 students received awards directly from the President.
  2. SJB activist Chamith Wijesundara alleges NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has spent over Rs. 1.5 million on business class air travel while party members collect funds for Sri Lankan flood victims: questions why leader’s funds aren’t used for relief efforts, contrasting with SJB’s own contributions.
  3. Cabinet approval was granted for Sri Lanka Ports Authority to sign a cooperation agreement with Virginia Ports Authority, facilitated by the US Embassy and Colombo Plan: The agreement aims to enhance expertise exchange between ports, focusing on professional development of executive staff from both sides.
  4. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe reveals corruption amongst lower court judges in Sri Lanka, including illegal electricity and water connections at the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s residence and a Rs. 200 million whiskey disappearance from the Colombo Magistrate’s Court: criticises the Judicial Services Commission for inadequate investigations and lack of legal action.
  5. Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar emphasises Sri Lanka’s importance in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ and SAGAR policies during his visit: Greeted by officials, this is his first visit since reappointment: He will meet President Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Gunawardena, and hold discussions with his Sri Lankan Counterpart Sabry.
  6. The Prisons Department warns officers against trade union activities, stating strict disciplinary actions and legal proceedings will be enforced: Prisons Commissioner Gamini B. Dissanayake emphasises prison officers lack the legal right for such actions and noted a small faction coercing others: A senior officer will oversee the mandated disciplinary actions.
  7. IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon announces the rehabilitation of 1,500 young drug users and plans for 285 new centres to treat 12,500 more: The Yukthiya operation, reducing crime by 23% since December 2023, will intensify next month to address remaining addicts.
  8. Major General Rohitha Aluwihare assumes the role of Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army, effective immediately: Aluwihare has a notable track record within the military: Recently, he chaired a seven-member committee tasked with investigating the unfortunate accident at the ‘Fox Hill Super Cross 2024’ racing event in Diyatalawa this past April.
  9. Sri Lanka resumes its eye cornea donations to Pakistan, paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic: Five corneas were sent to Lahore for surgeries at Rawalpindi’s army hospital: Sri Lanka has donated over 88,000 corneas globally, including 36,000 to Pakistan: This initiative strengthens bilateral ties and supports 300 awaiting patients.
  10. Tharushi Karunaratne achieves second place in the 600m race at the Bilbao Reunion International Athletic Meet in Spain, setting a new Asian Continental record with 1 minute 24.84 seconds: This performance, outside her usual 800m event, also contributes to Olympic 800m qualification points, positioning her for potential selection for the Paris Olympics.

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