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COLOMBO (News 1st) – Today’s exchange rates from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka:USD Buy 360.7312 Sell 371.2425GBP Buy 401.9620 Sell 417.9717EUR Buy 349.9535 Sell 364.8447JPY Buy 2.3818 Sell 2.4836AUD Buy 224.1226 Sell 235.0303.

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Millions spent on drafting a new constitution - newsfirst.lk
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Millions spent on drafting a new constitution
COLOMBO (News 1st) – An audit report has revealed that a total of 158 million rupees for three years had been allocated for the drafting of a new constitution when the economy of the country was heading towards a downturn. The Auditor General's report revealed that a total of 20.8 million rupees had been spent to hold 38 meetings of the expert committee and 9 consultations with external parties to draft a new constitution from the 9th of October 2020 to the 12th of December 2021. The details were revealed in the Auditor General's report of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Reform for the year ending 31st December 2021. A sum of 816,480 rupees had been spent for 3 office spaces that have not been used, and another 435,348 rupees had been spent to furnish those offices. Each constitutional expert on the committee to draft the new constitution WAS paid 25,000 rupees for every meeting that they attended which came up to a total of 3.1 million. The constitutional experts were also paid 120,000 rupees for their transport. A total of 10 million 180,000 rupees had been spent for the payment of the monthly allowance of 200,000 rupees to the secretary of the panel, the allowance for the research assistant, and several other allowances. 4,768,000 rupees had been spent during the period from October 2020 to December 2021 for office space at the BMICH. The Auditor General's report further states that although by the 31st of December 2021 the committee had completed 15 months, they had still not completed their task. 
Sri Lankans - Lost at Sea: Skipper not among Sri Lankans taken to Vietnam - newsfirst.lk - Japan - Sri Lanka - Canada - Vietnam - Burma
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Lost at Sea: Skipper not among Sri Lankans taken to Vietnam
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Authorities in Vietnam have reported that the skipper of the large migrant boat that was rescued by its Navy was not among those who were rescued.Vietnam media quoting the rescued Sri Lankans reported that the captain of the iron-hulled ship LADY R3 abandoned the boat after it started drifting at sea, and then did not return.A border guard commander of Ba Ria – Vung Tau province had also confirmed the information.A Sri Lankan man had reportedly said that his group had traveled from Sri Lanka to Myanmar and from there they had boarded the LADY R3 boat to travel to Canada by sea.It is unclear if all 303 Sri Lankans traveled together or in groups to Myanmar, and how they made it to Myanmar, as investigations are pending.Before 303 Sri Lankan citizens were rescued by the Helios Leader Vessel on the afternoon of November 6th, their ship had been stalled for nearly 40 hours, unable to maneuver and was drifting freely. On the afternoon of November 8th, when the SAR 413 vessel from the Vietnamese Coast Guard organized to welcome the 303 Sri Lankan citizens from the Helios Leader vessel to shore, initially four men got off the ship, the rest refused to get off despite the persuasion of the Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka, who took an entire hour to pursuade them to leave the Japanese freighter.At this time, the authorities considered the option for these four people to return to the Helios Leader, but they refused and said that if they returned, they would be beaten. Thereafter, all 303 Sri Lankans were taken off the Helios Leader in batches and brought ashore.For humanitarian reasons, the Ba Ria – Vung Tau Provincial Command for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and Search and Rescue has arranged for 303
Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena - Special security arrangements in P’ment for Budget - newsfirst.lk
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Special security arrangements in P’ment for Budget
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced in Parliament yesterday (10) that special security arrangements as done in previous years will be implemented in connection with the Budget speech for the year 2023 to be made by the Minister of Finance on Monday the 14th of November 2022.Accordingly, today (11) the entire Parliament building including the restrooms and wardrobes of the Members of Parliament will be subjected to security inspection.On the 14th, when the budget is presented in Parliament, galleries will be restricted only to the Diplomatic Corps. As the Members’ car park will be kept closed on this day the vehicles of the Members will be directed to the relevant Car Parks. The Speaker also requested the Members of Parliament to arrive in Parliament on that day in a Chauffeur-driven vehicle as far as possible. The speaker also informed that Valet parking of the self-driven vehicles of the Members of Parliament will be attended to by the Chauffeurs of the Parliament Staff who will be deployed at the Members’ Entrance.In addition, special traffic arrangements will be adopted by the Traffic Police and the nearest Police Stations in the area on this day. The speaker also informed that the cooperation of all Members of Parliament is kindly expected towards the aforementioned special security arrangements.
UK MPs want conditions on aid given to Sri Lanka - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka - Britain - Eu
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UK MPs want conditions on aid given to Sri Lanka
COLOMBO (News 1st) – A Backbench Business Committee debate on the UK response to the human rights and economic situation in Sri Lanka took place on Wednesday (9) in the House of Commons chamber.UK MPs called for Sri Lanka to cut down on its military spending to overcome the economic crisis.UK MP Elliot Colburn noted that for Sri Lanka to be rescued, it needs to reduce its military spending, which stands at $1.86 billion per annum. "All of Sri Lanka’s projections for emerging out of the economic crisis are predicated on the country retaining its generalised scheme of preferences and trade concession. That annual trade concession is worth more than $500 million and has boosted Sri Lanka’s exports to EU member states over the years," said the MP adding that however, Sri Lanka has failed to meet the key labour and human rights requirements for receiving that preferential treatment, and the EU recently issued a warning that it is set to lose its concession if it continues to ignore its obligations. "As a key stakeholder at the IMF, the UK Government should propose conditions on any IMF financial assistance for Sri Lanka during the current economic crisis, including that Sri Lanka should carry out a strategic defence and security review to reduce its military spending, remove the military from engaging in commercial activities, meet the criteria for GSP+, and re-engage with the UNHRC process.
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