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Wednesday September 27th, 2023

FMM demands action after two more journalists probing deforestation are assaulted

ECONOMYNEXT – Media activists are condemning physical assaults on reporters who have investigated alleged illegal deforestation after two journalists were injured in an attack in Murippu in the Mullaitivu district on October 12.

The Free Media Movement (FMM) in a statement issued this morning says that Virakesari newspaper correspondent Kanapathipillai Kumanan and Hiru TV correspondent Shanmugam Navaseelan were allegedly attacked by illegal loggers yesterday.

They are currently warded in Ward 5 of the Mullaitivu hospital and have made complaints to the police, FMM said. Navaseelan has lost two of his teeth and Kumanan has injuries on his nose, FMM said.

The statement pointed out that while no action is being taken to thwart the widespread destruction of forests, assaults on journalists who are exposing these acts “is a tragic situation.”

On October 3, Journalist Indunil Wijenayake who investigated illegal sand mining in the Kumbukkan oya in Moneragala was subjected to assault, the media watchdog said.

FMM demands that action be taken against those responsible for the assaults. (Colombo, October 13, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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Sinopec to go up to 200 Sri Lanka pumping stations, more possible: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT- China’s Sinopec which has been assigned 150 fuel retail outlets in sri Lanka which were operated by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, has been given the nod to set up another 50 stations, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera has said.

Out of 150 stations, Sinopec has already signed up 145, Minister Wijesekera had said at a dealer convention of the new company.

‘Also we have given them the opportunity to start 50 brand new stations, in locations that may fit the requirements that exists,” Minister Wijesekera said in comments broadcast by Sri Lanka’s Derana Television.

“But it is not necessary to be restricted to 200 fuel stations. If there are any requests made by you we will be open to consideration for agreements with dealers and distributors.”

Minister Wijesekera attended the dealer convention where China’s ambassador to Colombo Qi Zhenhong was also present.

Sinopec was supposed to enter Sri Lanka in 2003 under current President Ranil Wickremesinghe who was then Prime Minister. At the time India’s IOC entered Sri Lanka.

“Under the leadership of the then prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, two companies asked to take part in the retail operations,” Minister Wijesekera said.

“Unfortunately due to the change of government in 2004 the companies could not take part, and due to the political changes and policy changes.

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Sri Lanka making new laws for Colombo financial zone: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is drawing up a new law for Colombo Financial Zone at the Port City and also an economic commission replace the Board of Investment, President Ranil Wickremesinghe ha said.

Sri Lanka wanted to position itself as a central player in the region providing services including legal and dispute resolution. Several new laws were in the cards.

“One is the new legislation which will replace the port city to make it a Colombo financial zone with jurisdiction for offshore activity,” President Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying at a symposium on alternate dispute resolution.

“The new law has been drafted. And we will see the light of day before the end of the year. Secondly, the BOI will be replaced with the Economic Commission. Which is also looking at the resolution of disputes.”

Sri Lanka has set up an Alternate Dispute Resolution Centre in 2018.

Sri Lanka was looking at Singapore as an example and should strive to match or surpass the country except for costs where it should be a competitive advantage, President had said.

There was a void in the region Sri Lanka can fill.

“This is the key lesson to be derived. Furthermore, it is essential for all lawyers and individuals involved in legal services to broaden their perspectives and explore opportunities beyond their current scope,” he said.

Singapore however has monetary stability and has rejected printing money for growth. Sri Lanka on the other runs from one currency crisis to another by cutting rates with printed money for growth (targeting so-called potential output).

Sri Lanka has in a new law legalized printing money for growth in a new monetary law, the very strategy that drove the country into series of currency crises and eventual default, critics have warned.

The Port City however is a dollarized zone, which will be free of ‘monetary policy’ for growth. (Colombo/Sept27/2023)

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Sri Lanka to buy floating pipes, OPBM spares from Yokohama Industries

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will purchase from Japan floating pipes and spares for an offshore point buoy mooring system used to unload oil, a government statement said.

The contract to supply 26 rubber pipes and spares for the OPBM was awarded to Yokohama Industrial Products Asia Pacific (Pte) Ltd based in Singapore.

There was only one response to an international tender.

A technical evaluation committee and cabinet appointed procurement committee have recommended the purchase.

The cabinet therefore approved the proposal made by the power and energy minister to award the contract.(Colombo/Sep26/23)

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