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IMF staff concludes visit to SL

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An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Messrs. Peter Breuer and Masahiro Nozaki conducted a staff visit to Colombo from May 11 to 23, 2023 to discuss recent economic developments and implementation of the Fund-supported program.

At the conclusion of the visit, Messrs. Breuer and Nozaki issued the following statement:

“During the visit, we discussed recent macroeconomic and financial sector developments. Following strong policy efforts, the macroeconomic situation in Sri Lanka is showing tentative signs of improvement, with inflation moderating, the exchange rate stabilizing, and the Central Bank rebuilding reserves buffers. However, the overall macroeconomic and policy environment remains challenging.

“We welcome the authorities’ ongoing efforts in meeting key commitments under the Fund-supported program. Performance under the program will be formally assessed in the context of the first review of the Extended Fund Facility arrangement, which is expected to be undertaken in September 2023. The mission discussed additional fiscal efforts that will be critical to ensure successful revenue mobilization. We also discussed progress on debt restructuring, noting the ongoing discussions with both foreign and domestic creditors. Achieving timely restructuring agreements with creditors in line with the program targets by the time of the first review is essential to restoring debt sustainability. Keeping up the reform momentum and ensuring timely implementation of program commitments, including to ensure central bank independence, improve governance, and protect the vulnerable, are key for Sri Lanka to emerge from the economic crisis.

“The team met with President and Minister of Finance Wickremesinghe, Governor Weerasinghe, Secretary to the Treasury Siriwardana, senior government officials, members of the opposition parties, CSOs, think tanks, trade unions, the private sector, and development partners. We would like to thank the authorities for the open and collaborative discussions and look forward to our continued close engagement.”

(imf.org)

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Cabinet green light to ratify Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

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Cabinet approval has been granted to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and to take the necessary steps for legislation to enforce the provisions of the agreement.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Sep. 10, 1996. By the treaty, member states agreed to ban “any nuclear weapons test or other nuclear explosion” anywhere in the world. So far, 186 countries have signed the agreement and 177 countries have ratified the agreement.

Sri Lanka signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on October 24, 1996. Sri Lanka is currently cooperating with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in the areas of training, capacity development, data and information sharing. Sri Lanka’s ratification of the treaty would recognize Sri Lanka’s diplomatic role as an active proponent of international peace and security in a world free of nuclear weapons.

According to the government, ratifying the agreement will also enable the country to obtain useful data for civil and scientific purposes that will benefit many developing countries including Sri Lanka, such as tsunami warnings, climate change and geographical studies.

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Overseas travel ban slapped on Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

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The Kilinochchi Magistrate’s Court has issued an overseas travel ban on Ahila Ilankai Thamil Congress (AITC) MP – Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam over the recent incident of verbally abusing police officers during a function, police spokesman – SSP Nihal Thalduwa says.

Yesterday, the magistrate ordered to remand the AITC’s main female organizer in the North – East region, over the incident.

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Verdict on petition challenging Diana Gamage’s MP seat, postponed

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The Court of Appeal has deferred the pronouncement of the verdict on the petition filed seeking an order to annul the Parliamentary seat of State Minister Diana Gamage.

Accordingly, the verdict is expected to be pronounced on the 25th of July.

The petition was called this morning before President of the Court of Appeal Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice A Marikkar.

Court heard arguments pertaining to the petition previously and was expected to announce the verdict today.

The writ petition was filed before the Court of Appeal calling for State Minister Diana Gamage to be stripped of her Parliamentary seat by activist Oshala Herath on the 15th of November 2022.

State Minister Gamage, the Immigration and Emigration Controller, the Minister of Public Security, the General Secretary of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, the National Election Commission and its members, and the General Secretary of Parliament were cited as respondents in the petition.

(newsradio.lk)

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