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Thursday May 23rd, 2024

Sri Lanka will not recover for 15 years if current policies change: Semasinghe

ECONOMYNEXT — If there is a change in Sri Lanka’s current policy trajectory, the economy would not recover for another 15 years, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe warned.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday May 15, Senasinghe said the economy will be the deciding factor at the upcoming elections.

“The president has stated clearly that the presidential election will be held first, followed by the parliamentary and other elections.

“The decisive factor of the next election will be the economy. Strengthening the economy and taking the country forward will receive more attention over what ones wants to hear,” he said.

Disingenuous statements will not count at the election, said Semasinghe.

“If there is a change in the policies that the country is currently on, the economy will collapse and we won’t be able to raise our heads again for another 15 years at least,” he added.

Both the main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and the leftist National People’s Power (NPP) have indicated that a government led by them would renegotiate Sri Lanka’s ongoing agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

IMF spokespersons have been vague about the likelihood of amendments to the agreement.

Meanwhile, a proposed Economic Transformation bill is expected to be gazetted shortly to establish an economic commission, investment zones and international trade office.

“The bill contains structural, quantitative, and qualitative changes to support future economic development,” Cabinet spokesman and Media and Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena said on Tuesday.

The bill is part of a series of drafted laws that are to reform Sri Lanka’s legal framework, to meet the requirements for the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility.

Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana has said in April that the government is also revising old legislation following a comprehensive review of past experience and lessons learned.

Most of these new laws focus on structural changes of the existing executive and administrative structures. (Colombo/May16/2024)

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Sri Lanka has power breakdowns amidst extreme weather

ECONOMYNEXT – The state-owned power utility, the Ceylon Electricity Board has reported over 36,900 breakdowns resulting in power interruptions to more than 300,000 consumers in the last three days due to inclement weather in the island, the power minister said.

“Additional service staff has been assigned to attend the breakdowns and the CEB management & service staff are working 24 hours to restore power to the affected consumers,” Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera said on social media platform X (twitter).

Wijesekera said consumers could report power interruptions through the CEB hotline 1987, via SMS to 1987 with BD and the electricity consumer number to follow, or use the CEB Care app, or through http://cebcare.ceb.lk.

The South-East monsoon has seen floods, landslides and strong winds do damage to the utility provider’s infrastructure in the last week. (Colombo/May23?2024)

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Sri Lanka President calls for unity, sacrificing for a better tomorrow on Vesak day

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has recalled a sermon from the Buddha about sacrificing for a better tomorrow, and called for unity to heal and rebuild the country, as Buddhists celebrate Vesak.

Buddhists celebrate Vesak as commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha.

“At this challenging moment, we as a nation should cultivate the same great zeal for enlightenment that Buddha exemplified, inspired by his sermon, “Maththasukha parichchaga- passé che vipulan sukhan” – to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow,” President Wickremesinghe said in his Vesak day message.

“We must remember the advice of Lord Buddha, “Sabbattha Sammanaso,” to treat everyone equally and ensure we put it into practice as a country. This is the greatest offering we can present to the Buddha on this Vesak day.

“Regardless of race, religion, caste, or political affiliation, we must all unite to heal and rebuild our country. ”

The full statement is reproduced below:

The Vesak festival is a profoundly sacred day for Buddhists worldwide, commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing. Buddhists in Sri Lanka, along with their brethren around the globe, celebrate Vesak with deep devotion. They spend this period engaging in religious observances and venerating the Buddha with fervent devotion.

At this challenging moment, we as a nation should cultivate the same great zeal for enlightenment that Buddha exemplified, inspired by his sermon, “Maththasukha parichchaga- passé che vipulan sukhan” – to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

We must remember the advice of Lord Buddha, “Sabbattha Sammanaso,” to treat everyone equally and ensure we put it into practice as a country. This is the greatest offering we can present to the Buddha on this Vesak day. Regardless of race, religion, caste, or political affiliation, we must all unite to heal and rebuild our country. The principles of Lichchavi Raja Dharmaya will guide us in this endeavour.

Let us keep in mind that the primary aim of the Vesak festival is to foster spiritual growth and character development in a world rapidly advancing physically. I wish everyone a blessed Vesak festival.

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Sri Lanka to host foreign artistes, Sigiriya fashion show to promote tourism

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka plans to bring down international artistes, and hold water festivals to boost tourists, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman, Chalaka Gajabahu said.

“We will be hosting a few international artists in September to December,” Gajabahu told EconomyNext.

“We would also be having a fashion show in Sigiriya.”

Sri Lanka is targeting 2.3 million tourists in the year 2024 with expectations that it may go up to 2.5 million Gajabahu said.

Sri Lanka is also planning on having a water festival in coastal towns such as Trincomalee, Arugambay  and Kalpitiya in order to showcase Sri Lanka’s capacity for watersports, Gajabahu said. (Colombo/May22/2024)

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