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Sri Lanka’s economy will grow by 1.3% in 2024, says ADB

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The World Bank noted that the Sri Lankan economy will continue to face significant challenges in 2023 and beyond. 

The baseline scenario projects the economy to contract by 4.3 percent in 2023 – following the contraction of 7.8 percent in 2022 – as demand continues to be subdued, job and income losses intensify, and supply side constraints adversely affect production.

The World Bank also said that the restructuring of external as well as certain domestic debt will be needed to restore debt sustainability. 

It added that a strong and credible structural reform program is critical to avoid a prolonged crisis and address the root causes of the current economic difficulties.

The World Bank said that firm resolve of political leadership and Sri Lankan citizens will be required to overcome the crisis through several structural reforms.

It added that meaningful outcomes of debt restructuring, and the collective support of international partners will also be needed to maintain the reform momentum and chart the course for a speedy and robust economic recovery.

It noted that better-targeted social assistance, a recovery in more productive sectors, and an increase in the real value of incomes will be needed to reduce poverty. 

The World Bank said that Sri Lanka can use this crisis as an opportunity to build a strong and resilient economy.

It said the crisis provides a unique opportunity to implement deep and permanent structural reforms that may be difficult in normal circumstances. 

The World Bank said that higher income groups, in particular, will need to take more of the burden to protect the poor and vulnerable, as Sri Lanka embarks on this journey towards a stronger and more resilient economy.

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French ambassador in SL, passes away

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The French Ambassador for Sri Lanka and Maldives Jean-François Pactet has passed away today (May 26).

According to the police, the ambassador has passed away at his official residence.

He was 53 years old.He has served as the Ambassador in Sri Lanka since October 2022.

A career diplomat, Pactet was previously Deputy Director of Culture and Education in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

From 2016 to 2019, Jean-François Pactet was in charge of the Ministry’s policy regarding global health, gender equality and education, and supervised French contributions to multilateral funds in these areas.

Prior to this, Jean-François Pactet has been posted at the French Embassy to the United States in Washington (2012-2016) and at the French Permanent Representation to NATO in Brussels. 

He was also a Deputy Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Veteran singer and musician Ananda Perera passes away

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Renowned singer and musician Ananda Perera has passed away at the age of 67.

Family sources confirmed that he died while receiving treatment at a hospital in Kandy.

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Tea represents harmony, social inclusivity, says China – SL reps. to UN (Video)

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Tea as a popular drink shared by multiple countries around the world stands for harmony, diversity and social inclusivity, said representatives both of China and Sri Lanka to the United Nations at a ceremony held in the United Nations headquarter in New York on Tuesday.

The event themed “Tea for Harmony” was held to celebrate the International Tea Day, which also fell on Tuesday with a nod to China’s centuries-old tea traditions. It is co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of China to the UN and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“For thousands of years, tea has traveled along the Silk Road and the maritime routes to reach people around the world. Tea cultures from various countries, while sharing the same roots, have deeply integrated with their own customs and traditions. Just like this year’s theme ‘Tea for Harmony’ suggests, tea has indeed played an important role in promoting harmony within diversity,” said Dai Bing, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN.

In his opening speech, Mohan Peiris, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to UN, noted that tea functions as a means to bring people together for a casual chat, and thus helps to encourage social interaction and stands for inclusivity.

“Drinking tea promotes social interaction. Sharing tea provides an opportunity for individuals to come together. And that’s something we do here in the delegates lounge. It facilitates conversation. Let’s have a chat over a cup of tea. It encourages inclusivity. Community drinking can bring people together. Well, it also fosters equal footing. The very act of sharing a cup of tea is typically egalitarian. It’s big,” he said.

Products from Xinyang, a well-known tea-producing region in central China’s Henan Province, were highlighted at the event, with tea masters making drink with Xinyang Maojian, a widely welcomed local green tea at the scene.

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