September 26, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
IMF to delay second tranche of funds
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that the release of the second tranche of the Extended Fund Facility, USD 162 million, will be recommended to the Executive Board of the IMF once the government implements its proposed VAT increase of 15%.
Talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the IMF will continue as planned in October, on the sidelines of the IMF’s annual general meeting in Washington, D.C.
Tamil Nadu refugees repatriated
The repatriation programme of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) will facilitate the return of 76 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from Trichy and Chennai on 29 September. Since 2011, 5035 refugees have returned while an estimated 100,000 still remain in India.
The Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, D.M. Swaminathan, met with UNHCR regarding the process of return. The refugees will return to their homes in Vavuniya, Mannar, Matale, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Jaffna.
ADB to assist transport projects
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will assist Sri Lanka to prepare studies and designs for the development of new transportation infrastructure including roads, railways and ports. The project is expected to commence in 2016 and end in 2022.
The ADB will also provide the Road Development Authority with USD 24.42 million in technical assistance. The funds will be used to create an expressway development programme and other projects of priority.
UN Global Pulse partners with Twitter to achieve SDGs
The UN Global Pulse has partnered with Twitter to access the platform’s data tools, and support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Access to Twitter’s data tools will provide the UN with real-time information on priority issues and concerns trending on social media.
The Director of UN Global Pulse, Robert Kirkpatrick, stated that the unique data gathered from Twitter has the potential to strengthen decision-making.
India to ratify Paris Agreement
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that India will ratify the Paris Agreement on 2 October, the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Ghandi.
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, commended India’s decision, and expressed hope that other countries would follow India in ratifying the agreement.
Security Council holds emergency meeting on Syria
The Security Council has held an emergency meeting on 25 September, at the request of France, the UK and the US, following Russian-backed offensives in Aleppo, carried out by the Syrian government. The violence in Aleppo has killed more than 200 people in a week.
The Council did not release a statement or a resolution following the meeting, and the next round of discussions related to violence in Syria has not yet been confirmed.