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Price of rice and curry hits two-year-high for average family

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By Sanath Nanayakkare

The cost of a meal consisting of rice, vegetables and meat or fish, consumed at an average Sri Lankan household, hit a two-year high in November 2021, a food price tracker for Sri Lanka has shown.

Advocata’s ‘Bath Curry Indicator (BCI), a simple tool that tracks the prices of common food items that go into a rice and curry dish in Sri Lanka, shows that the cost of a meal increased by 13.5% from October to November 2021.

“Since 2019, retail prices have increased by 44%. This means that an average family, which spends Rs. 960 weekly on the BCI basket of food items in November 2019, now has to pay Rs 1,390 for the same basket of goods just two years later,” the researcher said.

“The food items whose prices increased the most in the past month alone were tomatoes (206%), beans (33%) and green chilli (23%),” the Advocata study has revealed.

The BCI tracks the weekly retail prices in the Colombo market of the most commonly consumed food ingredients that might be used in a typical rice and curry meal. Information about the prices are collected from the ‘Weekly Indicators’ that the Central Bank publishes.

Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said on Saturday that there had been an uptick in inflation and it would taper off as supply side disruptions and global commodity prices eased in the coming months.

SJB MP Harsha de Silva said on Monday that there was a correlation between inflation and the money supply. The government followed the Modern Monetary Theory and printed money at such a rate that it devalued the currency and spiked inflation.



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President orders probe into notification issued by Department of Immigration and Emigration

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It has been reported that President Wickremesinghe ordered an investigation into the notification issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration requesting all  Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave the country within 14 days.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), the relevant notification was issued without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

The decision had reportedly been taken as certain foreign tourists are running illegal businesses in the country.

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Contentious Chinese research vessel docks in Maldives

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Xiang Yang Hong 03 has previously visited Indian Ocean on several other occasions

A contentious Chinese research ship reached the Maldives on Thursday in the latest sign of the archipelago’s diplomatic reorientation towards Beijing and away from its traditional benefactor India.

Local residents said they had spotted China’s Xiang Yang Hong 3 at the Thilafushi industrial port near the capital Male.The 100-metre-long (328-foot) vessel was at an anchorage near Male on Thursday evening, according to the website Marinetraffic.

The Maldives’ pro-Beijing government said earlier the vessel was docking for a port call to rotate crew and take on supplies, on the condition that it would not conduct “research” while in its territorial waters.

Media reports in India had suggested that the vessel was conducting surveillance for Beijing.

India is suspicious of China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and its influence in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, which are strategically placed halfway along key east-west international shipping routes.Relations between Male and New Delhi have chilled since pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu won elections last year.

Muizzu has asked India to withdraw 89 security personnel based in the Maldives to operate reconnaissance aircraft by March 15.But the president has also insisted he does not want to upend ties with New Delhi by replacing Indian troops with Chinese forces.

Sri Lanka refused entry to Xiang Yang Hong 3 after two other port calls from Chinese vessels since 2022 raised objections from India.That included the ship Yuan Wang 5, which specializes in spacecraft tracking and which New Delhi described as a spy ship. (AFP)

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MP Harsha in Australia as “Special visitor”

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Harsha de Silva

Opposition MP and Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) Harsha de Silva is currently in Australia as a special visitor.

Taking to ‘X’, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP said he had embarked on a nine-day visit on an invitation extended by the Government of Australia.

“My engagements with policymakers, academics, scientists and investment managers began in Melbourne and will continue in Adelaide and then public officials and politicians in Canberra,” he added.

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