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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 06/07

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe unveils a significant educational initiative, presenting 200 smart classrooms and 2,000 tablet computers to schools in the Southern Province: Known as the Southern Province Smart Classroom Project, this endeavour, costing Rs. 300 million, aims to enhance learning environments: The project was initiated following a request from Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says although many countries prioritise the holding of an ‘international support conference’ after the end of a war, none of the leaders in Sri Lanka could convene one even after 15 years since the end of war: asserts an international support conference will be held covering the entire country under a SJB-rule, focusing on both the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
  3. National People’s Power MP Vijitha Herath urges the Supreme Court to dismiss a petition challenging the Election Commission’s plans for the 2024 Presidential election: Filed by businessman Chamindra Dayan Lenawa, the petition questions the President’s term length under Article 30(2): Herath argues the petition misinterprets the 19th Amendment, which reduced the term to five years: asserts the Election Commission must proceed with the election as scheduled for 2024.
  4. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is intensifying scrutiny on parliamentarians for potential tax frauds under new anti-corruption laws mandating asset declarations: As part of IMF-mandated reforms, Sri Lanka aims to boost state revenue through tax rate hikes and broader tax networks: Despite surpassing first-quarter revenue targets by six percent, authorities stress the need to strengthen mechanisms against tax evasion to achieve the 2024 revenue goal of Rs. 4,106 billion.
  5. Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK Rohitha Bogollagama attends the Global Unity Dinner at The Dorchester Hotel: Organised by Regent Group, the event promotes peace and understanding: highlights Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts under President Ranil Wickremesinghe, urging diaspora support: praises Dr Selva Pankaj for initiatives like the Public Learn Education Platform in Sri Lanka and facilitated Pankaj’s acquisition of Sri Lankan citizenship.
  6. CB Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe expresses optimism about the Economic Transformation Bill, highlighting its potential economic benefits and measures to enhance financial discipline and curb corruption: asserts despite Covid’s impact on creditworthiness, successful policies and IMF disbursements of US$ 660 million signify progress: stresses the need for economically viable, transparent development projects and a focus on boosting exports for Sri Lanka’s economic resilience.
  7. Dr. CHUI Ho Kwong Samuel, Director of Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department, announces a collaborative agreement with Sri Lanka’s CEA and Chinese Academy of Sciences on water management: The MoU focuses on sharing advanced wastewater treatment technologies and expertise in pollution control: Hong Kong showcased innovations like seawater for toilet flushing at a workshop in Ratmalana, aiming to train Sri Lankan officials and improve air and water quality toward Sustainable Development Goals.
  8. Sri Lanka and India plan to establish a joint venture for a power grid connectivity project linking Anuradhapura to Chennai via an undersea transmission line: The initiative includes a 130 km overland transmission line in India and aims to utilise Sri Lanka’s renewable energy potential: The joint venture will manage the project and secure funding following the completion of the Detailed Project Report.
  9. Uma Kumaran, daughter of Sri Lankan refugees from Jaffna, makes history by becoming the first Tamil woman elected to the British Parliament for Stratford and Bow: Raised in London, she secured over 19,000 votes for the Labour Party, emphasising her family’s ties to trade unionism: pledges to represent her community, acknowledging their support and Labour values in her victory speech.
  10. Sprinter Aruna Darshana qualifies for Sri Lanka’s Men’s 400m event at the 2024 Paris Olympics after securing second place in the Bahamas with a personal best of 45.90 seconds: joins Tharushi Karunaratne and Nadeesha Lekamge on Sri Lanka’s athletics team: Darshana also won gold at the Belt and Road Invitational Athletics Championship, showcasing potential akin to Sugath Thilakaratne.

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