01. The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Sustainable Development says a total of 23 projects initiated by the Urban Development Authority using public funds are currently suspended: adds 11 have been halted due to issues between the institutions.
02. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says there have been ‘political conspiracies’ attempting to lure farmers away from their lands and cause hardship for the people: asserts despite claims by certain opposition groups that people are suffering from hunger, no one in SL is dying of starvation.
03. The Kandy Magistrate Court issues warrant for the arrest of ex MP Ranjan Ramanayake, in connection with a lawsuit filed by the Kandy Special Crimes Investigation Unit in 2010, involving money swindling amounting to Rs. 01 million: The probe is based on a complaint lodged by a teacher who accuses Ramanayake of swindling money in the promise of marrying her.
04. Prominent international lawyer associations and human rights organisations raise strong concerns about the ongoing trial of Sri Lankan lawyer and human rights defender Hejaaz Hizbullah, highlighting the violations of fair trial rights: The collectives include Lawyers for Lawyers, the Bar Rights Committee, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Committee (IBAHRI), the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the Law Society of England and Wales, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
05. Public Security Minister Tiran Alles issues extraordinary gazette slashing the penalty charges on foreigners overstaying their visa period: New gazette allows foreigners to stay without paying any penalty for a grace period of seven days: After the grace period, $250 charged per day for the next seven days: Anyone overstaying after 14 days since the visa period expired will have to pay a penalty of $500 in addition to visa charges.
06. Headline Inflation based on the NCPI is recorded at 22.1% for May ’23: records a drop from the 33.6% record in April ’23: Food inflation drops to 15.8% in May from the 27.1% recorded in April: Non-food inflation drops to 27.6% in May from the 39.0% recorded in April.
07. Self-crowned ‘Prophet of God’ Pastor Jerome Fernando withdraws writ application filed before the Appeal Court seeking an order preventing Police from arresting him in connection with his controversial sermon, hoping to reserve his rights to file a fresh application.
08. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa says laws pertaining to divorce will be amended to meet “the needs of modern society”: Concern comes in following reports of extra-marital same-sex relationships leading to sexual bribes in the state sector being raised in Parliament: adds Sri Lankan laws have no provisions for a person to call for a divorce when a person finds out that their spouse has been in a same-sex relationship with others, and therefore, laws pertaining to divorce must be changed.
09. UN’s Deputy Human Rights Chief Nada Al-Nashif slams Sri Lanka over the misuse of ICCPR and urges the international community to use accepted principles of universal and extraterritorial jurisdiction to probe and prosecute alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses in the island.
10. Former national sevens and XV’s player Suhiru Anthony to lead the CR&FC Rugby outfit for the 2023/2024 rugby season, which will kick off later this year: Anthony represented the national XV’s team from 2012 to 2019 while representing Sri Lanka in Sevens rugby from 2012 to 2017.