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Tuesday April 23rd, 2024

AKD maintains 50-pct lead in Sri Lanka presidential voting intent poll in January

ECONOMYNEXT — National People’s Power (NPP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake had support among 50 percent of all adults surveyed by the Institute for Health Policy (IHP) in December 2023 in a monthly voting intent poll for Sri Lanka’s upcoming presidential election.

Support for Dissanayake had dropped just 1 percentage point since December 2023, according to the Institute for Health Policy (IHP)’s Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) MRP provisional estimates.

Main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya leader Sajith Premadasa had the support of 36 percent (+2) of the adults surveyed, while both President Ranil Wickremesinghe and a generic Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) had the support of 7 percent each.

Dissanayake’s National People’s Power (NPP) continued to lead a separate general election voting intentions poll, also carried out by IHP, for January at 40 percent of adult voters surveyed supporting the party, with the SJB in second place at 30 percent.

The presidential poll estimates are based on the January 2024 revision of the IHP SLOTS Multilevel Regression and Poststratification (MRP) model, which smoothed monthly changes and reduced monthly fluctuations due to sampling noise, IHP said in a statement.

This update is for all adults and is based on a revised MRP model using data from 15,590 interviews conducted from October 2021 to 26 February 2024, with 506 interviews during January 2024. IHP said 100 model iterations were run to capture model uncertainty, with margins of error assessed as 1–3 perce t for January.

“IHP’s SLOTS MRP methodology first estimates the relationship between a wide variety of characteristics about respondents and their opinions – in this case, ‘If there was a Presidential Election today, who would you vote for?’– in a multilevel statistical model. It then uses a large data file that is calibrated to the national population to predict voting intent in each month since October 2021, according to what the multilevel model says about their probability of voting for various parties (‘post-stratification’) at each point in time. The multilevel model was estimated 100 times to reflect underlying uncertainties in the model and to obtain margins of error,” the institute said. (Colombo/Mar01/2024)

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Iran President to open Sri Lanka $514mn irrigation, hydro power project

MULTIPURPOSE: Uma Oya multipurpose development project is the largest since the end of the Mahaweli projects.

ECONOMYNEXT – Iran President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi will inaugurate an irrigation and hydropower project that was designed and built by Iranian engineering firm and was also initially financed before international sanctions hit the project.

The Uma Oya (River) project will irrigate 4,500 acres of new agricultural land, generate 290 Gigawatt hours of electricity and also provide drinking water, a government statement said.

Sri Lanka had awarded an engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) to Iran’s FARAB engineering group to design and construct the 514 million dollar multipurpose project in 2010.

The project was funded until 2013 with a million US dollar credit from the Export Development Bank of Iran but international sanctions prevented the country from continuing financing, a government statement said.

The project continued with funding from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka had since repaid 19.3 million dollars of the credit and 35.2 million remains outstanding.

The Uma Oya project has a 120MW of hydro power generators, which can generate 290 Giga Watt hours of energy.

Each year 145 million cubic metres of water will be taken from Uma Oya to the Kirindi Oya river valley after generating electricity in an underground power station.

It will irrigate 1,500 hectares of existing agricultural and 4,500 hectares of new land in the Moneragala district, where crops can be cultivated in both the Maha and Yala seasons.

About 39 million cubic meters of water will be used for drinking and industrial purposes.

Two reservoirs built at Dyraaba and Puhulpola in Uma Oya basin is connected by a 3.98 kilometre conveyance tunnel and water is taken through a 15.2 kilomtre headrace tunnel to an underground power station. A tailrace tunnel takes water from the power station to the Kirindi Oya basin.

The project was originally expected to be completed in 2015, but due to financing delays and later water leaking into the headrace tunnel and the Covid pandemic had delayed it. The project completion date was extended to March 31, 2024 and defect liability date to March 31, 2025.

(Colombo/April23/2024 – CORRECTED Iran President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi will inaugurate an irrigation and hydropower project that was designed and built by Iranian engineering firm.)

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Sri Lanka state oligopoly allowed to import some black gram

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has allowed the import of some black gram, by three state agencies, according to a gazette notice issued under the hand of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Import licenses will be given for 2,000 metric tonnes of the seed classified under HS Code 7312.31.22 and 29.

Sri Lanka State Trading Corporation, National Food Promotion Board and Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority is to be given import licenses.

Traders have resorted to smuggling some types of black gram (ulundu) mis classified as chick peas, to get over high taxes and import restrictions.

Tamil legislators have also protested the import controls, which they go into several key ethnic foods they consume. (Colombo/Apr23/2024)

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Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry consular division shifted to Battaramulla

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said it consular division would be shifted to the Suhurupaya building in Subuthipura, Battaramulla from May 02, 2024.

Document authentication services provided by the Consular Affairs Division in Colombo will be suspended on 29 and 30 April 2024 held transfer the Electronic Document Authentication System (e-DAS) to the new premises at Suhurupaya.

Urgent applications for authentication to the Consular Division in Colombo, or any Regional Consular Offices by 4.15 pm on 26 April 2024, the Foreign Ministry said.

Regional Consular Offices in Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Kandy and Matara will remain open to accept applications.

Authenticated documents will be delivered to the applicants only on Thursday, 02 May 2024.

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