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Minister says imported veg. can bring down prices

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Minister of Trade, Commerce, and Food Security – Nalin Fernando has said a kilo of carrots, beans and leeks can be supplied at Rs. 300 – Rs. 350 if they are imported.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “I informed the Secretary to the President to convene the Food Policy Committee and asked the Agriculture Ministry and other relevant institutions whether they can provide vegetables at a low rate. They have agreed at the Food Policy Committee to reduce vegetable prices within a month or one and half months. If vegetables were imported, we can provide a kilo of leeks, carrots and beans at Rs. 300 to Rs. 350.”

He has also said that the price of an imported egg was increased by Rs. 08 from today due to the increase in VAT and other taxes. Accordingly, an egg which was previously sold at Rs. 35, will be sold at Rs. 43 at all Sathosa outlets.

The Minister said the State Trading Corporation (STC) had imported eggs from India under new tenders after the VAT increase and considering the VAT hike, increase in other taxes and transport cost, prices of eggs were increased by Rs. 08.

“We observed for two weeks whether we can cater to the demand for eggs from local egg production. However, we observed that after the imported egg supply was stopped, egg prices in the market increased again up to Rs. 52 to 55. So, the STC decided to import eggs under new tenders to control the increase in prices,” he said, adding that the issue would be settled if local suppliers were able to supply eggs at Rs. 43.

Meanwhile,  a discussion has been held between Sri Lanka Egg Producers’ Association (SLEPA) chairman – R.M. Sarath Rathnayake and leader of the Mawbima Janatha Pakshaya – Mr. Dilith Jayaweera.

The meeting, which was also attended by egg producers, had discussed the possibility of providing eggs to the people at a more affordable price while protecting the local producers.

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SL wins 1st T20I by 3 runs

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Sri Lanka won the 1st T20I match against Bangladesh by 03 runs, after a thrilling game.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh invited the visitors to bat first, where the visiting Sri Lankans scored 206/3 before limiting the Bangladesh team to 203/8.

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Fuel prices revised

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The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco) has announced that fuel prices will be revised with effect from midnight today (March 04).

Accordingly, prices of Petrol Octane 92 and Auto Diesel have remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, the prices of Petrol Octane 95, Super Diesel and Kerosene have been reduced.

A litre of Petrol Octane 95 has been reduced by Rs. 09 to Rs.447, while a litre of Super Diesel has been reduced Rs. 10 to Rs.458. The price of a Kerosene litre too, has been reduced by Rs. 05 to Rs. 257.

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8 Lankans trafficked to Myanmar, rescued

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The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that 08 Sri Lankans out of the 56 trapped in cybercrime centres in Myawaddy area in Myanmar have been rescued by the Myanmar government authorities and are currently in the Myawaddy Central Police Station. 

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar is currently working on the early repatriation of the rescued Sri Lankans. As per information made available by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar, the 56 Sri Lankans who have been trafficked are being held in four separate locations in the Myawaddy area and the rescued eight Sri Lankans were in one of these locations in an area that could be accessed by the Myanmar government, a statement by the MFA adds.

The statement further adds : 

The rescue operation undertaken by the Myanmar government follows intensified diplomatic engagements including a communication from President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed to the Prime Minister of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing requesting for early intervention and support to rescue and safely repatriate the trapped nationals, which was conveyed via diplomatic channels to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar on 22 February 2024. 

In January 2024, Foreign Minister M. U. M. Ali Sabry took this issue up with the Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar Than Swe, requesting urgent intervention to rescue Sri Lankan nationals highlighting the seriousness of the situation of the Sri Lankan victims who have been enslaved in cybercriminal activities and urging that early action be taken to rescue all the affected individuals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar continues to make every effort to rescue and repatriate all Sri Lankan nationals, who have become victims of human trafficking and are trapped in Myanmar, in close collaboration with the Myanmar government authorities. 

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