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Sunday December 3rd, 2023

Sri Lanka Podujana Party wins 2020 general elections in a landslide

WINNING STREAK: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on the telephone watching election results coming in.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Podujana Party of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won a clear majority in the 2020 parliamentary election out of declared so far in the 225 assembly sweeping most electoral districts in the South of the country.

The campaign headed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa sought a two thirds majority to change the constitution.

The SLPP on its own won 145 seats including 17 national list seats. Sri Lanka Freedom Party which contested in the north got one.

The EPDP also won two seats incldluding one national list seat.

Prime Minister Rajapaska in messages acknowledged good wishes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Maldives President Ibrahim Solih.

The SLPP had won 6.85 million votes or 59.09 percent.

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya, led by Sajith Premadasa had won 2.77 million votes or 23.9 percent of the vote. It won 54 seats including 7 on the national list.

The Northern ITAK party got 10 seat including 1 on the national list.

National People’s Power had won 445,000 votes or 3.84 percent taking 3 seats including one national list seat.

The United National Party of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had failed to win any seat in direct electoral results declared including in its former stronghold Colombo in a humiliating defeat. But it got one national list seat.


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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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