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Tuesday December 5th, 2023

Indian becomes the second woman to swim across the Palk Straits

India’s Syamala Goli emerges from the sea after her 14-hour swim across the Palk Straits at Dhanushkodi yesterday March 19/Handout Photo

ECONOMYNEXT – A 47-year old Indian, Syamala Goli, became the second woman and 13th person to swim across the Palk Strait when she reached Dhanushkodi in South India after leaving Talaimannar yesterday March 19.

An athlete and entrepreneur, Goli has called the swim an “Indo-Lanka friendship event,” and this is the second time she has completed a 30 km open water swim.

Goli was quoted by Indian media as saying that she strongly believes that her crossing the Palk Strait “will be an achievement for the whole of womanhood and hopes that this would inspire women to aim higher and believe that nothing is impossible.”

Goli represented Telangana in the 2020 FINA World Masters Championship in Gwanju, South Korea. In Nov 2020, she swam a 30 km stretch in the Great Ganges River in Patna and secured 6th position with a timing of 110 minutes.

She is also an animation film producer, director and writer and started swimming only four years ago. She has been preparing for the Palk Strait Swimming Expedition under the guidance of her coach Ayush Yadav at SATS swimming pool in Gachibowli (Hyderabad), a statement from the Indian High Commission said.

India’s Mihir Sen in 1966 was the first in the world to successfully swim across the Palk Strait. Sri Lankan multiple Guinness record holder Kumar Anandan swam the Palk Strait both ways in 51 hours in 1971. Anandan died of hypothermia attempting to swim across the English Channel in 1984. India’s National Swimmer Bula Chaudhary in 2004 was the first woman to swim across successfully. (Colombo, March 20, 2021)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 327.40/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 327.40/90 to the US dollar on Tuesday, from 328.10/30 the previous day, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.60/70 percent from 13.70/14.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.00 percent from 13.90/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/15 percent from 14.00/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.10/20 percent from 14.20/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.20/35 percent, from 14.25/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.10/35 percent, from 14.05/40 percent. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down as investor sentiment dips

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Tuesday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was down 0.40 percent, or 43.50 points, at 10,700.09.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.43 percent, or 13.32 points, at 3,054.41.

Turnover was at 711 million. The capital goods sector contributed 172 million, the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 140 million, and banks 113 million of this.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were John Keells Holdings Plc (up at 193.00), Richard Pieris And Company Plc (up at 19.80), and Nation Lanka Finance Plc, (up at 0.40).

Negative contributors were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (down at 89.70), Sampath Bank Plc (down at 71.00), and Central Finance Company Plc, (down at 106.00). (Colombo/Dec5/2023).

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Sri Lanka plans to reduce number of school grades from 13 to 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ministry of Education proposes to reduce the number of school grades from 13 to 12, according to a government information department statement.

“Every child will be given the opportunity to finish school in 17 years through the proposed new education reforms,” education officials were quoted as saying after a discussion on budget allocations.

Under the proposed system, pre-school education will be at the age of 4 years, the primary section between grades 1-5, junior section between grades 6-8, and senior section between grades 9-12.

The General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Exam (GCE O/L) is proposed to be conducted in grade 10, and the Advanced Level Examination in grade 12.

It has also been decided to reduce the number of mandatory subjects at the GCE O/L Exam from 9 to 7.

Three new subjects, information and communication technology (ICT), technical and professional skills, and religion and values will be made mandatory and included in those 7 subjects. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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