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IMF not expected to approve SL’s bailout before year-end

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The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not expected to formally approve Sri Lanka’s $2.9 billion bailout before year-end, two sources familiar with the matter said.

According to Reuters, the IMF stressed the importance of joint talks involving three of Sri Lanka’s main bilateral creditors – China, Japan and India.

The IMF’s online board calendar, which has added meetings through Dec. 22 to discuss progress and new tranches for a number of emerging economies, makes no mention of Sri Lanka.

In response to an inquiry, Sri Lanka’s finance ministry said it was “100% focused” on securing IMF approval. “We are taking every necessary policy step to secure financing assurances from our bilateral creditors as quickly as possible,” the ministry said in an emailed statement.

However, internal government sources said that another loan from neighboring India will have to be sought to restore the economy.

It is reported from a highly reliable source that this is the main reason why Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda had met the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi.

High Commissioner Moragoda has held several rounds of discussions with Minister Sitharaman since November last year regarding India’s economic cooperation and support to Sri Lanka.

Indian media reported that the latest meeting between them also focused on further promoting economic and financial relations.

High Commissioner Moragoda informed Minister Sitharaman about Sri Lanka’s ongoing discussions with the IMF and the current status of Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring process.

Mr. Moragoda had also mentioned the severe impact of the economic contraction on the poor and vulnerable communities of the Sri Lankan population.

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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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