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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 09/07

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized the profound connection between Buddhism and the modern scientific and technological world, highlighting that the teachings of Buddha offer insights to win future global challenges. The President said that he is discussing the establishment of a new institution in the country where Buddhist philosophy including the Thripitaka can be studied, the history, civilization and the spread of Buddhism in the world and where knowledge of Pali, culture and other languages can be developed. He also expressed that its objective is to revive the legacy of the Anuradhapura Maha Vihara.
  2. Opposition Leader MP Sajith Premadasa states under a Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) government, development programs in the Northern and East would be advanced and that an international donor conference, which has not received leadership until now, would be convened Many lives were lost in the war-torn northern and eastern provinces and development was not focussed in these districts after the war, he said.
  3. State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya stated that the government intends to collect taxes from 14 previously untaxed sectors that have been overlooked until now and to ensure tax compliance from them. The State Minister said that no one has been given an opportunity to evade tax payments and that there has previously never been such a time when such special attention was paid to the paying of taxes.
  4. The fundamental rights (FR) petition filed by businessman C.D. Lenawa seeking an order preventing the calling of a Presidential Election until the Supreme Court delivers its interpretation on the date of the presidential poll, has been dismissed by a five-member Supreme Court judge bench headed by the Chief Justice.
  5. Former Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, Karu Jayasuriya has been unanimously appointed as the Chair of the Former Parliamentarians’ Caucus. According to a Parliament statement, the appointment was made during the first meeting of the Former Parliamentarians’ Caucus held at Parliament recently under the Chairmanship of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana.
  6. The Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana stated that granting the salary increase demanded by striking public servants would necessitate raising the current Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from 18% to between 20% and 21%.
  7. The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) acting through the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies, called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from potential investors for the divestiture of its shares in Litro Gas Lanka Limited and Litro Terminals (Private) Limited on the 16th January 2024. The deadline for thes ubmission of EOIs ended at 2.00pm on Friday 15th March 2024.
  8. More than 250 Trade Unions in Sri Lanka’s Public Sector will be on sick leave today (9), potentially crippling public services nationwide. These include Public Management, Development Officers, Drivers, and Office Staff among other organizations. Their primary demand is to receive an increased allowance of Rs. 25,000, as given to executive officers.
  9. Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Sabry, PC is on an official visit to Singapore. Minister said that he had a productive discussion with Minister Balakrishnan on enhancing bilateral relations, recognizing shared opportunities and challenges.
  10. Sri Lanka Cricket announces the appointment of Sanath Jayasuriya as the ‘Interim Head Coach’ of the National Team. He will function in the position until the completion of Sri Lanka’s tour of England in September 2024. Jayasuriya is currently serving as the full-time ‘Cricket Consultant’ of Sri Lanka Cricket.

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