An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday January 31st, 2023

Classist, aristocratic cabal in Sri Lanka conspiring to prevent Premadasa presidency: MP

ECONOMYNEXT – Classists and ‘radalawaadin’ (backers of aristocracy) in different camps have teamed up to prevent Sri Lanka opposition leader Sajith Premadasa from becoming president, opposition MP Nalin Bandara said.

The main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP told reporters on June 09 that the government may be hoping to use Prime Minister Ranil Wikcremesinghe to weaken the opposition.

“It was [government minister] Mahindananda Aluthgamuge who was bragging the most about Wickremesinghe entering parliament,” he said.

The former prime minister has been speculated to enter parliament through the one national list seat his party is entitled to after a spectacular defeat at the parliamentary polls in 2020.

The increasingly crisis-riddle government may be planning to appoint Wickremesinghe to its cabinet in an attempt to overcome their perilous state, said Bandara.

“Or perhaps they dream that after Wickremesinghe enters parliament, the opposition will split into two. When you see that you’re losing you’re grip on power, it is natural to grasp at straws,” he said.

“The government’s plan is to latch on even to Ranil if they have to, just to weaken the opposition and strengthen their own ranks,” he added.

Bandara said the SJB has no objection to the government’s taking Wickremesinghe into their fold.

“He is an experienced politician with his own personal diplomatic ties. We have no objection.  But the opposition will not be weakened. Ranil is one. There are over 50 of us in the SJB,” he said.

The MP said the government is also using people like Wickremesinghe and model Piumi Hansamali who was recently involved in a quarantine scandal to distract the public from the real issues.

Without using the word ‘caste’, Bandara claimed that the opposition faced by Premadasa is nothing more than an issue of social status.

“We know that [former president and the SJB leader’s late father) President R Premadasa faced by many obstacles in his road to the presidency. He came from Kehelwatte; not from Colombo 07; not from an aristocratic family,” he said.

Bandara claimed there was a cabal of classists in Sri Lanka who cannot bear the thought of a Premadasa presidency.

“These people have teamed up, unconditionally, and made deals,” he said.

Commenting on a remark by Minister Aluthgamage that Wickremesinghe could potentially be made opposition leader with the support of 15 SJB parliamentarians who according to him will readily switch loyalties, Bandara said: “Yes, that is their dream. We have to wonder if Wickremesinghe is being controlled by the government.”

The SJB issued a statement on June 08 that the party’s parliamentary group has unanimously expressed their support for Premadasa’s leadership, amid speculation that all is not well with Sri Lanka’s main opposition party.

Bandara said the elitist cabal he alluded to have a “game plan”.

“We know they’ve all teamed up. They’re all on the same side. But we can guarantee that it’s not a plan that will succeed,” he said. (Colombo/June09/2021)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka shares down for 2nd day as tax hike, delay in Chinese debt assurance weigh

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged down on Tuesday as worries over delay in financial assurances from China which is mandatory for a $2.9 billion dollar IMF loan and rise in protests against tax hike kept investors in check, analysts said.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged down by 0.28 percent or 24.62 points to 8,865.05. It fell for the second session after hitting more than three-month high.

“The market is looking for more macro cues because of faster Chinese debt assurance was expected. The market is also hit by fall in corporate earnings due to high taxes,” an analyst said.

China has given an initial response on debt re-structuring to Sri Lanka though analysts familiar with the process say it is not a ‘hard assurance’ sufficient for the IMF program to go through.

The International Monetary Fund is working with China on extending maturities of Chinese loans to defaulted countries like Sri Lanka, as there is resistance to hair-cuts, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters on January 14.
The earnings for first quarter are expected to be negative for many corporates with higher taxes and rising costs. However, investors had not expected earnings to be low in the December quarter because of year end pick ups on heavy counters, the analyst said.
Earnings in the second quarter of 2023 are expected to be more positive with the anticipation of IMF loan and possible reduction in the market interest rates as the tax revenue has started to generate funds.

However, the central bank said the IMF deal is likely in the first quarter or in the first month of the second quarter.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 dropped by 0.64 percent or 17.74 points to 2,764.51 points.

The central bank has said it could cut interest rates in future when the country sees fall in inflation, which has already started decelerating.

The market saw a turnover of 1.7 billion rupees, slightly lower than the month’s daily average of 1.8 billion rupees and while being significantly lower than 2022’s daily average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a net foreign inflow (NFI) of 93 million rupees extending the net offshore buying to 413 million rupees so far this year.

Top losers were LOLC, Royal Ceramics Limited and Hayleys. (Colombo/Jan31/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka exports fall in December as global recession weighs

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports earnings fell 9.7 percent in December year-on-year as the island nation saw a drop in buying from its key export destinations which are facing a looming recession after the Russia-Ukraine war.

The earnings from the merchandise exports recorded $1.04 billion  in December 2022 compared to the same month in the previous year as per the data released by the Sri Lanka Customs.

“This was mainly due to the decrease in export earnings from Apparel & Textiles, Tea, Rubber based Products, and Coconut based Products, Food & Beverages, Spices & Essential Oils and Fisheries products,” the Export Development Board (EDB) said in a statement.

“The reason for this decline was due to the ongoing recession in major markets due to rising cost of production, energy etc. Imports declined sharply due to inflation and demand for goods and services are reduced.”

However, Sri Lanka saw a record export earning of $13.1 billion in 2022 due to increased demand in the key exports throughout the year

Earnings from all major product sectors except Electrical & Electronic components as well as Diamonds, Gems & Jewellery fell in December.

Exports of Apparel & Textiles decreased by 9.6 percent to $480.3 million in December 2022.  Export earnings from Tea fell by 3 percent to $107.3 million, Rubber and Rubber Finished products dropped 20.3 percent to $74.5 million,

However, export earnings from the Electrical & Electronics Components increased by 16.18 percent to $42.9 million in December 2022, while Diamond, Gems & Jewelry jumped 35.7 percent to $30.8 million. (Colombo/Jan31/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka records over 6,000 dengue cases in first three weeks of January

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka recorded over than 6,000 dengue cases in the first three weeks of January 2023 after a spell of heavy monsoon rain though a drop in cases is likely from February, officials said.

Health officials identified 6,204 dengue patients by January 22, up from 5,793 recorded in the corresponding period last year.

“A rise in cases can be observed in the November-January period with the heavy rain due to the northeast monsoon,” an official from the National Dengue Control Unit told EconomyNext.

Of all reported cases, 46.3 percent were from the Western Province, official reports showed.

Akuressa, Batticaloa, Eravur, Trincomalee, Madampe, Badulla, Eheliyagoda, Kegalle, Kalmunai North and Alayadivembu MOH areas were identified as high-risk areas for dengue during the third week of January by the health officials.

“We are expecting a decline in dengue cases soon. The Western province is always in the top position with the highest number of dengue cases. Apart from that, we are seeing a higher number of cases during this period in areas like Puttalam, Jaffna districts. A certain number of cases have also been recorded in the Kandy district,” the official said.

“Usually the cases peak in December, but they decline by February. This year, too, we are facing this scenario. There is an increase of dengue during the months of November, December and January”.

Due to the economic situation in the country, the Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) in an earlier report said, diesel and pesticides are not being provided by the ministry.

However, rejecting the allegation, the official from the NDCU said the government has provided enough funds for get the necessary pesticides but it is being used according to a scientific method to avoid building a resistance in the dengue mosquito.

“The recommendation is to do the fogging if there is a dengue outbreak or if there are few patients reported from the same locality.

“If you use this pesticide haphazardly, the mosquitos will develop resistance against it,” the official said, adding that there are adequate stocks of the chemical available. (Colombo/ Jan 31/2023)

Continue Reading