01. CB’s Monetary Board decides to reduce the SDFR and the SLFR of the CB by 200 basis points to 11% and 12% respectively: Decision said to have been taken following “a careful analysis of the current and expected developments, including the faster-than-envisaged disinflation process and benign inflation expectations in the domestic economy.”
02. ADB says it is willing to provide the necessary knowledge and technical support for Sri Lanka’s new reform operation programme in the water supply sector, along with capacity building projects of the NWSDB.
03. CPC reports its fuel cost breakdown as of 18 Feb ’23, reporting profits: Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara reveals CPC earned a profit of Rs. 16.21 per litre of Petrol 92, Rs. 3.25 for Auto Diesel, Rs. 109.44 for Petrol 95, and Rs. 11.64 for Lanka Super Diesel; adds, however, a loss of Rs. 21.49 incurred per litre of Kerosene: assures the CPC is on a path towards achieving financial stability.
04. Colombo High Court grants bail to stand-up comedian Nathasha Edirisooriya who was arrested on the charge of making controversial comments on Buddhism: HC Judge Aditya Patambedi says the ICCPR, which was deemed the rationale for Edirisooriya’s arrest, is being used today beyond the purpose for which it was introduced to SL by the Legislature; adds it would be “appropriate to adopt the ‘Rabat Plan of Action’ introduced by the UN’s Human Rights Committee in constituting the establishment of an offence under ICCPR Act (3)1, and accordingly, her comments being presumed to be inciting national or religious hatred would be an invalid argument.”
05. Sri Lanka surpasses 50,000 cases of dengue since January this year: As of Tuesday, a total of 640 cases reported in the last three days of this month alone, with June reporting the highest number of cases: Death toll at 31: 43 dengue high-risk zones identified: Western Province accounts for 24,930 cases, approximately 49.8% of the overall figure.
06. CB’s Monetary Board decides to extend the suspension of Perpetual Treasuries Limited from carrying on the business and activities of a Primary Dealer for a further period of six months: Decision made in terms of the Regulations under the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance and the Local Treasury Bills Ordinance.
07. RTI Commission reprimands officials representing Parliament for its wavering stance on the possession of PCoI Report on the Easter Sunday Massacre and warns that furnishing false information to the former is a punishable offence by law: Conclusion made by a four-bench commission following a seven-month long hearing of a RTI appeal against Parliament for not releasing sections of evidence recorded from suicide bomber Zahran Hashim’s wife and several top Police and Military intelligence officials to the public.
08. Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda says SL will seek fresh diplomatic engagements with India to secure what is termed ‘an innocent passage’ through its territorial waters for SL fishermen to enter the Arabian Sea for multi-day fisheries; adds the GOSL is to ask for India’s support to secure a passage through its EEX for Sri Lankan fishing vessels.
09. Sri Lanka receives three ‘Double Wattled Cassowaries’, a species of flightless birds, via an animal exchange programme from Thailand: BIA sources say the three birds were received for the Dehiwala zoo: Two males and a female Cassowaries about nine months old and weigh about 60 kg each, brought in.
10. Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe says most of the national sports bodies haven’t any proper plan but always wish support from the Ministry; laments it is “very difficult to work with sports body officials, as most of the time they are willing to work for their benefits and not for the players and the sports.”