01. Chairman of the National Delimitation Committee Mahinda Deshapriya says the final Committee report will be submitted in around the third week of May; reveals about 400 proposals received on the Committee’s interim report; asserts these proposals will be analysed and reviewed and the observations will be shared with the relevant stakeholders.
02. Sri Lanka’s Chief Free Trade Agreement Negotiator at the International Trade Office established at the Presidential Secretariat K.J. Weerasinghe says SL and Bangladesh plan to hold an introductory meeting virtually on May 29 to commence negotiations for the proposed Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), which is expected to eventually lead to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
03. CBSL data show Sri Lanka’s external reserves amount to US$ 2,755 million ending April, up from US$ 2,694 million in March: The reserves continue to carry the US$ 1.4 billion equivalence of Chinese Yuan denominated swap facility from China’s People’s Bank obtained two years ago.
04. Disaster Management Centre report says more than 6,000 families have been affected by adverse weather conditions: a total of 6,345 people from 1,634 families in 10 districts including Kalutara, Gampaha, Badulla, Trincomalee, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Puttalam and Kurunegala; adds 87 houses have been partially damaged due to strong winds and flooding.
05. Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says the customs duty concession of Rs. 3 provided for a kilo of wheat flour will be removed; asserts the reimposition of the duty will aim the management of wheat flour prices to protect the 90 per cent of subsistence level paddy farmers; stresses this will not affect in wheat flour price.
06. Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara says 211MW of renewable energy has been added in to the Energy Mix in 2022, of which 146MW as RoofTop Solar; adds capacity addition of 3075MW of renewable energy and 1525MW of storage are expected between 2027 – 2030.
07. Sri Lanka’s monthly tourism earnings consistently stay above US$ 160 million a month in 2023: The April inflows brought the cumulative tourism income to US$ 696.3 million the first four months of 2023, up 17.8% from the same period in 2022: In March 125,495 tourists arrived in SL and in April, 105,498, bringing the cumulative arrivals to 441,177.
08. Bodies of two schoolboys washed ashore to Kokkuwil beach: The deceased identified as 16-year old students: Preliminary investigations reveal these two boys might have drowned after going to sea bathe: Investigations ongoing.
09. JVP/NPP Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake says 88% of the country’s total population is borrowing, defaulting on loans or mortgaging items; laments 68% of the population has reduced the amount of food they eat or the number of meals they consume, and the people have been coerced into eating food that they don’t like; adds 40% of the population has slashed access to education and healthcare for children.
10. Amritha Incense Sticks, a leader and pioneer in the locally produced incense stick market, achieves a historic milestone by acquiring Sri Lanka Standards (SLS) certification: Amritha Incense Sticks are manufactured and distributed by Darley Butler & Company Ltd.