Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 09/02
1.Chief Opposition Whip & SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella accuses President Ranil Wickremesinghe of planning to put off the Presidential polls with the help of some “crony” civil society organisations.
2.State Minister Ranjith Siymabalapitiya says Govt revenue in January has shot up 25% over the target to Rs.274 bn, aided by increased VAT: discloses Customs Dept has exceeded its target of Rs.114 bn for January by 11% to achieve Rs.121 bn: Excise Dept revenue of Rs.14 bn has also surpassed the target of Rs.12 bn.
3.SLPP dissident MP Gevindu Cumaratunga says the Online Safety Bill had been rushed through Parliament with no heed for the Standing Orders pertaining to passing new legislation.
4.Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon says 42 persons, including 18 engaging in sexual abuse & 5 pickpockets had been arrested during an operation by policemen in civvies to apprehend those who commit crimes & harass passengers on public transport.
5.Speaker swears in L K Jagath Priyankara as an MP to fill the vacancy created in Parliament by the death of former State Minister Sanath Nishantha.
6.SLPP MP Mahindananda Aluthagamage warns Govt against trusting data & figures provided by the Ministry of Finance: previously, the Treasury Secretary had announced that the country is bankrupt, and later denied having done so: the CB Governor had also announced that local currency debt will not be re-structured and later subjected the EPF Members balances to a massive “cut” in value.
7.Finance Ministry says the monthly allowance for disabled persons & kidney patients has been increased from Rs.5,000 to Rs.7,500: also says the allowance for elderly persons has been increased from Rs.2,000 to Rs.3,000 with effect from January’24: ‘Aswesuma’ recipients within these categories to receive the increase from 1st April’24.
8.Minister of Ports Nimal Siripala de Silva says it was
President Ranil Wickremesinghe who ‘brainwashed’ the NPP to engage with Indian leaders: asserts that those who once lectured on “Indian expansionism” are now meeting with Indian leaders: UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardena MP says the visit of NPP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake to India is a welcome move and it is expected that the NPP will work with the present Govt.
9.Former Colombo Municipal Council Member Alfred Sampath seeks the President’s intervention to reduce crematorium charges, which the CMC raised from Rs.1,500 to Rs.15,000 for Colombo residents & from Rs.5,000 to Rs.25,000 for others: laments poor people are unable to afford such high charges.
10.SL Cricket announces a 16-member squad for the ODI series against Afghanistan: Kusal Mendis named as Captain & Charith Asalanka as Vice Captain: Dasun Shanaka dropped & Chamika Karunaratne included: Wanindu Hasaranga back in the squad following recovery from injuries.