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Sunday December 3rd, 2023

Rains subside in Sri Lanka, but death toll rises to 26; 12,000 still stranded

ECONOMYNEXT – The death toll of prevailing adverse weather in Sri Lanka has increased to 26 with more than 12,000 still in relief centres, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said.

The DMC said Friday (12) afternoon that due to floods, heavy rainfall and landslides, 150 district Secretariat Divisions in 17 districts have been affected.

As of Friday, 12,349 people from 3,693 families are in 88 relief centres around the country. The DMC said a total of 230,185 people from 65,580 families have been affected.

According to the department, 39 properties have been completely destroyed while 1,390 properties have been partially damaged.

A total of 26 were killed, 15 due to drowning and five due to landslides, the DMC said.

The Colombo-Kandy main road has been closed by authorities due to possible landslides and officials have asked the general public to use alternate routes.

With a relatively lower rainfall recorded in the past 24 hours, the DMC said the flooded areas around Kalu river and Attanagalu Oya are clearing.

However, red alerts for possible landslides will continue to be in effect until further notice in Kegalle, Kandy and Kurunegala districts.

Level one

Galle – Nagoda, Neluwa, Yakkamulla, Kadawath Sathara and Akmeemana District Secretariat Divisions

Rathnapura – Kiriella, Elapatha, Nivithigala and Kuruwita District Secretariat Divisions

Matale – Pallepola, Matale and Yatawatta District Secretariat Divisions

Kalutara – Ingiriya, Walallawita and Horana District Secretariat Divisions

Gampaha – Meerigama, Aththanagalla and Dompe District Secretariat Divisions

Nuwara Eliya – Walapane, Ambagamuwa, Hanguranetha and Kothmale District Secretariat Divisions

Level two

  • Badulla – Passara and Ella District Secretariat Divisions
  • Colombo –Seethawaka and Padukka District Secretariat Divisions
  • Kalutara – Mathugama, Agalawatta, Bulathsinghala, Palindanuwara and Dodangoda District Secretariat Divisions
  • Galle – Baddegama and Elpitiya District Secretariat Divisions
  • Rathnapura – Ayagama, Rathnapura, Eheliyagoda and Kalawana District Secretariat Divisions
  • Matale – Raththota and Ukuwela District Secretariat Divisions
  • Kandy – Pathadumbara, Minipe, Meda dumbara, Poojapitiya, Ududumbara, Delthota, Hatharaliyadda,
  • Akurana, Panvila and Kundasale District Secretariat Divisions

Level three (Red alert/ Evacuate)

  • Kegalle – Yatiyanthota, Ruwanwella, Mawanella, Aranayaka, Bulathkohupitiya, Dehiowita, Rambukkana,
  • Kegalle, and Galigamuwa District Secretariat Divisions
  • Kandy – Harispaththuwa, Doluwa, Yatinuwara, Udapalatha, Pasbage korale, Gangawata Korale,
  • Udunuwara and Gangaihala korale District Secretariat Divisions
  • Kurunegala – Mallawapitiya, Rideegama, Alawwa, Narammala, Mawathagama and Polgahawela District Secretariat Divisions


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Sri Lanka UGC wants to boost number of IT-related degrees

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s University Grants Commission is of the view to boost the number of Information Technology (IT) related degrees in state universities with an aim to pave the way for a digital economy.

Sri Lanka’shigher education system has been producing more graduates in Arts stream while the degrees in highly demanded IT and other engineering services are being looked at only now.

“We do have a high demand for engineering, science, AI, computer and electronical engineering

studies,” Chairman of University Grants Commission, Sampath Amaratunga, told reporters at aa media briefing on Friday

“However, while avoiding neglecting the humanities, we should develop new IT skills.”

Amaratunga confirmed that a student who studied in any stream could obtain an IT degree, including students who studied in the arts stream.

The UGC data show that out of 18,490 engineering technology stream students who sat for their Advanced Levels (A/L) in 2022, 10634 were eligible for university.

“Even streams like agriculture should be encouraged to use technology,” Amaratunga said. (Colombo/Dec 2/2023)

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Sri Lanka leader inaugurates Climate Justice Forum at COP28 in Dubai

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe launched Climate Justice Forum (CJF) at the ongoing 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) held in Dubai in a move to gather support for vulnerable nations hit by climate-change led disasters.

This year’s climate summit held in Dubai’s EXPO2020 features a raft of issues for countries working to find common ground in tackling climate change, including whether to phase out fossil fuels and how to finance the energy transition in developing countries.

Wickremesinghe inaugurated the Climate Justice Forum at COP28 on Saturday and emphasized the critical importance of addressing climate issues with a sense of justice and equity.

The President had been in talks with many nations vulnerable to climate change disasters including African and South American countries to get their support for the CJF.

The move is to compel advanced and developed countries to look into the poor nations hit by the climate changes and help them to get over economic and debt burdens by either investing more in green energy initiatives or writing off debts to ease financial pressure.

Sri Lanka, which is now facing an unprecedented economic crisis, has seen increasing losses and damages, both human lives and physical properties due to climate change-led disasters like floods, drought, and earth slips.

In his speech at the COP28 forum, Wickremesinghe on Friday said the Climate Justice Forum will provide a platform for constructive and proactive engagements. (Dubai/Dec 2/2023)

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Sri Lanka IMF review goes to executive board on December 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The first review of Sri Lanka’s International Monetary Fund program is scheduled to go the lender’s Executive Board for consideration on December 12.

Sri Lanka officials were expecting the review to be completed in December as soon as official creditors gave their assurances.

According to the notice Sri Lanka had missed one performance criterion and has requested modifications.

Sri Lanka has outperformed on a number of quantity targets including inflation. In addition to quantity PCs there was also one non-accumulation of arrears.

There would also be re-phasing of access. The review was originally expected around September with another review based on December data, leading to September and March disbursements.

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