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Tuesday April 16th, 2024

Most contenders for presidency will gather around Wickremesinghe: UNP

ECONOMYNEXT — Save for one or two candidates, the “dozens” who appear to have thrown their hat into the ring will eventually gather around President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the election, the United National Party (UNP) said.

UNP deputy leader Akila Viraj Kariyawasam made this remark responding to a question by a journalist about the “two dozen” names that have been mentioned in connection with the presidential election due to be held between September 17 and October 17 this year.

“Apart from two or three candidates, those dozens will gather here. Don’t worry,” said Kariyawasam.

“At Sirkotha?”

“No, no. Around the president.”

Sirikotha is the headquarters of the UNP.

Kariyawasam said the party will also celebrate International Labour Day on May 01 in recognition of the Sri Lanka’s working class that made the country’s recovery from its worst financial crises possible.

“Our party has decided to celebrate May Day on May 01. This will be begin at the Tower Hall in Maradana through Panchikawatta.

“We’re celebrating May Day this year because ,amidst an economic crisis ,this country’s working class made a big sacrifice to come out of the crisis,” he said.

The UNP deputy leader said Sri Lankans have worked with dedication in spite of whatever issues that prevailed at their workplaces.

“They contributed their labour, and provided value through their jobs, and this is to thank them for their contribution to moving the economy forward,” he said.

“We will show the UNP’s strength on that day,” he added.

President Wickremesinghe candidacy at the election has yet to be officially declared, however. At what had all the appearance of a campaign launch event held on March 10, he did not explicitly express his intention to contest.

Government spokesmen have also alluded to proposals of abolishing the executive presidency this year, which would effectively render the prospects of a presidential election null and void.

At what had all the appearance of a campaign launch event held on March 10, he did not explicitly express his intention to contest.

Government spokesmen have also alluded to proposals of abolishing the executive presidency this year, which would effectively render the prospects of a presidential election null and void. (Colombo/Apr03/2024)

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IMF urged Sri Lanka to preserve “hard earned gains” after economic crisis: State FinMin

ECONOMYNEXT – The International Monetary Fund has urged Sri Lanka to preserve the hard earned gains after an unprecedented economic crisis under the global lender’s programme, State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe said.

The Sri Lankan delegation led by Shehan Semasinghe met Kenji Okamura, the Deputy Managjng Director of the IMF on the first day of the IMF and  World Bank Spring meeting.

“Mr. Okamura commended the Sri Lankan authorities on strong programme implementation and excellent reform progress. He emphasised the need to preserve the hard earned gains Sri Lanka has experienced since the beginning of the IMF programme and continue strong ownership,” the State Minister said in his X (Twitter) platform.

He said the Sri Lankan delegation including Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe and Secretary to the Treasury Mahinda Siriwardana explained the recent socio-economic developments to Okamura.

He also affirmed the IMF top official on the authorities’ commitment to ensuring continuity and consistency of macroeconomic policies and reforms undertaken under the programme. (Colombo/April 16/2024)

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Sri Lanka State FinMin meets BCIU in US; discusses post-crisis investment prospects 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe met Business Council for International Understanding( BCIU) in Washington on the sideline of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings late on Monday and discussed investment prospects in the island nation which is gradually recovering from an unprecedented economic crisis.
“Our discussion centered on the potential that Sri Lanka offers for international investors. Explored various sectors, including education, tourism, renewable energy, agriculture and technology, where strategic investments can drive sustainable economic growth and development,” Semasinghe said in his X (Twitter) platform. 
“We reviewed the current macro-economic landscape of Sri Lanka, including recent reforms that have transformed to results. Glad to concluded the forum by marking constructive dialogue and a shared commitment to support the economic development of Sri Lanka.” 
“We thank participants, stakeholders holders and global partners for the significant interest shown in unlocking the full potential of the Sri Lankan economy and fostering greater international understanding and cooperation.” (Colombo/April 16/2024) 
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India allows Sri Lanka to import 10,000MT of onions

ECONOMYNEXT – India has relaxed an export ban allowing 10,000 metric tonnes of onions to be shipped to Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

“The exemption for Sri Lanka reiterated India’s Neighbourhood First policy, adding to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festivities here,” the statement said.

Onion prices went up in Sri Lanka after India and Pakistan banned exports.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade has issued a notice allowing National Co-operative Exports Limited to ship 10,000 MT of onions.

The UAE has also been allowed to import 10,000MT of onions on top of 24,400MT already permitted.

A large Indian and South Asian expat community lives in the UAE. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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