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Tuesday April 23rd, 2024

Sri Lanka opposition MPs trying to bring Sajith, Ranil together, claims AKD

Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe during the 2019 Presidntial campaign

ECONOMYNEXT — Attempts are under way to bring opposition leader Sajith Premadasa and President Ranil Wickremesinghe together, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, claiming that it would’ve already happened if it weren’t for an alleged personal animosity between the two leaders.

Speaking at a rally in Kurunegala on Sunday February 18, Dissanayake said members of the main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) are attempting to reconcile Premadasa and Wickremesinghe and bring the SJB and the president’s United National Party (UNP) together in the run-up to the presidential elections due to be held before October 17 this year.

“Discussions are now taking place about how to bring Ranil and Sajith together. A group of SJB members are in conversation to bring them together. If it weren’t for the personal dispute between Ranil and Sajith, they would come together,” said Dissanayake addressing a large gathering of supporters of the National People’s Power (NPP) that he leads.

“The common enemy, which can unite against this exercise, will get on to the same platform,” he added.

Dissanayake and his NPP, a leftist outfit controlled by his own Marxist-Leninist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), lead at least one independent opinion poll on voting intentions at a future presidential election.

The opposition parliamentarian said most establishment parties will work together to defeat the NPP. Every party leader from former presidents Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maithripala Sirisena and Gotabaya Rajapaksa will get on the same stage as President Wickremesinghe for this purpose, Dissanayake claimed.

“Wickremesinghe definitely has to hold this election. There will never be another election platform with the coming level of theatrics,” he said.

“Who will be on this platform? Mahinda with his saatakaya, Ranil in his suit. Chandrika in a Kandyan sari, Gotabaya with his military insignia, and the villager from Polonnaruwa Sirisena. All on one stage, like a fancy dress parade,” he added. (Colombo/Feb19/2024)

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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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