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Debt-restructuring talks, two MoUs during Jaishankar’s visit

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The government is to hold debt restructuring talks with India, one  of the key creditors, during a scheduled visit by India’s External  Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar who is due here next Thursday, President  Ranil Wickremesinghe told trade union leaders yesterday.

“We discussed China’s Exim Bank earlier this week and by now we have  started exchanging views on it. India’s External Affairs Minister is  scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on January 19 to discuss the debt  restructuring process. We are proceeding with these activities  gradually,” President Wickremesinghe said.

During Mr Jaishankar’s visits, two memorandums of understanding are  likely to be signed. 

One of the MoUs is for the Trincomalee development project  and the other for a power grid connectivity project with India, the  Sunday Times learns.

Meanwhile, a high-level Chinese delegation led by Chen Zhou, Vice  Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party, arrived  here yesterday for bilateral talks.

Mr. Chen met President  Wickremesinghe last evening and delivered a letter from Chinese President  Xi Jinping.

The Chinese Embassy in a twitter message said, “They had  friendly and fruitful dialogue on how to enhance bilateral pragmatic  cooperation and party-to-party exchanges”.

Earlier this week, China’s Exim Bank Chairman Wu Fulin held  a virtual meeting with President Wickremesinghe on the debt  restructuring process and cooperation between the two countries.

Commenting on the status of the ongoing debt restructuring  programme, President Wickremesinghe said the government had completed  talks with Japan — one of the three main creditors to Sri Lanka, besides China and India.

Following these talks, the President stressed that the country would  be able to secure USD 2.7 billion Extended Fund Facility from the  International Monetary Fund (IMF) in three or four instalments.

“In addition, we have the capacity to get USD 5 billion from the  World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and others. By the end of the  year, a number of different programmes are scheduled to resume with  Japan,” the President said, explaining the path to recovery from the  economic crisis the country currently undergoes.

(sundaytimes)

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No COVID-19 deaths yesterday

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No COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed yesterday (29) by the Director-General of Health Services.

Accordingly, the current COVID-19 death toll remains at 16,828.

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Racecourse murder : Boyfriend further remanded

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The university student who was held in remand custody for allegedly murdering his girlfriend with a sharp weapon at Race Course grounds in Colombo has been remanded further.

Taking up the case today (30) Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis ordered him to be further remanded till February 13.

The magisterial inquest into the death was held today before Colombo Chief Magistrate and

A testimony of the deceased’s father was recorded before Chief Magistrate and further magisterial inquiry was fixed for February 13.

The suspect was not produced before Court by prison authorities since he is currently receiving treatment at the Mental Health Unit of prison hospital.

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Constitutional Council approves several judicial appointments

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The Constitutional Council met today (30) in Parliament presided by Speaker and the Chairman of the Constitutional Council – Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Sajith Premadasa, Leader of the Opposition, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, MPs Sagara Kariyawasam, other council members Dr. Prathap Ramanujam, Dr. (Mrs) Dilkushi Anula Wijesundere, Dr. (Mrs) Dinesha Samararatne were present at the Council meeting held.

MP Kabir Hashim, had informed his inability to attend this meeting due to unavoidable circumstances.

The Constitutional Council considered the recommendation of the President to appoint K.P. Fernando, President of the Court of Appeal as a Judge of the Supreme Court, to the post which fell vacant with the retirement of L.T.B. Dehideniya, Judge of the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Council unanimously approved the above recommendation.

Further the Constitutional Council unanimously approved the nomination of N.B.P.D.S. Karunarathna, Judge of the Court of Appeal to be appointed as the President of the Court of Appeal, and the nomination of Mr M.A.R. Marikkar, High Court Judge to be appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal to the resultant vacancies.  

The Constitutional Council further decided to publish the advertisement on newspapers of 1st February 2023, calling for applications for the appointment as Members of the Commissions specified in Schedule to Article 41B of the Constitution. Draft format of the application would be published on the Official Parliament website. The deadline to submit applications is 15th February 2023.

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