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Monday December 5th, 2022

Kamala Harris’ VP nomination historic: Sri Lankan-American former chief of staff Rohini Kosoglu

ECONOMYNEXT – This week’s nomination of Democratic Senator Kamala Harris as US presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate is a historic moment, Harris’ former Chief of Staff and senior adviser, Sri Lankan-American Rohini Kosoglu said.

Harris, who was picked as Biden’s vice presidential nominee on Tuesday (11), is the first woman of colour in the US to be named a VP nominee by a major party. In another first, Kosoglu was first appointed Harris’ chief of staff in 2018, becoming the only American-Asian woman to serve as a US senator’s chief of staff.

Harris has picked Karine Jean-Pierre, a former Obama staffer, Haitian immigrant and self-identified lesbian as her Chief of Staff for the Vice-Presidential bid.

“This is a historic moment. Proud to share it with so many. 84 days. #khive,” tweeted Kosoglu tweeted yesterday.

It was reported at the time of Kosoglu’s appointment that the diversity amongst Harris’ staff was not matched by her Democratic colleagues even though they employ a large number of women, predominantly white.

Kosoglu’s parents’ Doctor Wijeyadevendram Ravindran and Shobhana Ravindran hail from SriLanka and emigrated to the United States in the early 1980s. She is a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.

She graduated from the University of Michigan and the George Washington University and was first introduced to national politics as a mailroom manager while working for Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Kosoglu worked her way up as a senior policy adviser after graduating in Sen. Stabenow’s office. She then moved to Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett’s office as his senior health care adviser meanwhile the congress was considering Obamacare or Affordable Care Act.

After seven years in Bennett’s office, Kosoglu got an offer from Harris, then a senator-elect, to work as deputy chief of staff.

If Biden gets elected this November, Harris will be America’s first female, the first woman of colour and the first Asian-American vice president. (Colombo/Aug13/2020)

Comments (3)

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  1. Kamala fernando says:

    As a Sri Lankan American and a a south Asian woman my heart is bursting with pride. And I bear the senators name too .

  2. Sonali Dias says:

    Congratulations and so proud of you. More women should be in the forefront.

  3. Lasantha Karavita says:

    My congratulation & best of luck.
    Proud of your achievement as Sri-Lankan.
    Stay Safe.

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Comments (3)

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

  1. Kamala fernando says:

    As a Sri Lankan American and a a south Asian woman my heart is bursting with pride. And I bear the senators name too .

  2. Sonali Dias says:

    Congratulations and so proud of you. More women should be in the forefront.

  3. Lasantha Karavita says:

    My congratulation & best of luck.
    Proud of your achievement as Sri-Lankan.
    Stay Safe.

Paris Club proposes 10-year moratorium on Sri Lanka debt, 15 years of debt restructuring

ECONOMYNEXT — The Paris Club group of creditor nations has proposed a 10-year debt moratorium on Sri Lankan debt and 15 years of debt restructuring as a formula to resolve the island nation’s prevailing currency crisis, India’s The Hindustan Times reported.

While the Paris Club has yet to formally reach out to India and China, Colombo has yet to initiate a formal dialogue with the Xi Jinping regime, the newspaper reported on Saturday December 03, inferring that the chances of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approving its 2.9 billion dollar extended fund facility for Sri Lanka in December now ranges from very low to nonexistent.

“This means that Sri Lanka will have to wait for the March IMF meeting of the IMF before any aid is extended by the Bretton Woods institution,” the newspaper reported.

“Fact is that for Sri Lanka to revive, creditors will have to take a huge hair cut with Paris Club clearly hinting that global south should also take the same cut as global north notwithstanding the inequitable distribution of wealth. In the meantime, as Colombo is still to get its act together and initiate a dialogue and debt reconciliation with China, it will need bridge funding to sustain the next three month before the IMF executive board meeting in March 2023. Clearly, things will get much worse for Sri Lanka before they get any better—both economically and politically,” the report said. (Colombo/Dec04/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea prices up amid low volumes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka tea prices picked up at the last auction in November amid low volumes, brokers said.

“Auction offerings continued to record a further decline and totalled 4.2 million Kilograms, of which Ex-Estate offerings comprised of 0.6 million Kilograms. There was good demand,” Forbes and Walker Tea brokers said.

“In the Ex-Estate catalogues, overall quality of teas showed no appreciable change. Here again, there was good demand in the backdrop of extremely low volumes.”

High Growns

BOP Best Westerns were firm to 50 rupees per kg dearer. Below best and plainer types were Rs.50/- per kg easier on last.

Nuwara Eliya’s were firm.

BOPF Best Westerns were firm to selectively dearer. Below best and plainer teas declined by 50 rupees per kg.

Uva/Uda Pussellawas’ were generally firm and price variances were often reflective of quality with the exception of Select Best Uva BOPF’s which were firm and up to 50 rupees per kilogram dearer.

CTC teas, in general, were mostly firm.

“Most regular buyers were active, with perhaps a slightly more forceful trend from the local trade,” brokers said.

Corresponding OP1’s met with improved demand. Well-made OP/OPA’s in general were fully firm, whilst the Below Best varieties and poorer sorts met with improved demand. PEK/PEK1’s, in general, were fully firm to selectively dearer.

In the Tippy catalogues, well-made FBOP/FF1’s sold around last levels, whilst the cleaner Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom appreciated. Balance too were dearer to a lesser extent.

In the Premium catalogues, very Tippy teas continued to attract good demand. Best were firm to selectively dearer, whilst the Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom appreciated

Low Growns

Low Growns comprised 1.8 million Kilograms. Market met with improved demand, in general.

In the Leafy & Semi Leafy catalogues, select Best BOP1/OP1’s were fully firm, whilst the Below Best/bolder BOP1’s were barely steady.

Low-grown teas, farmed mainly by smallholders and exported to the Middle East and Central Asia, are the most sought-after and expensive Ceylon Teas.

Low-grown CTC prices have gained this week to 982.80 per kilogram this week from 934.76 per kilogram last week.

Few Select best BOP1s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower. Poorer types maintained.

BOPF’s in general, firm market.

FBOPF/FBOPF1’s select best and best increased in value, whilst the below best and bottom held firm.

Selected best BOP1’s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower.Poorer types maintained.

OP1’s selects best together with best and below best were firm to dearer. Poorer sorts were fully firm.

Medium Growns

BOPF’s, select best gained by 50 rupees per kilogram. Others maintained.

BOP1’s select best dearer by 100 rupees per kg whilst all others moved up by 50 rupees per kg.

OP1: select best gained by 100 rupees per kg whilst all others dearer by 100 rupees per kg.

OP/OPA’s in general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg whilst the poorer sorts were firm.

PEK’s Select best gained by 50 rupees per kg whilst all others maintained. PEK1: In general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg. (Colombo/Dec 04/2022)

 

 

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Sri Lanka Ports Authority East Terminal contractor paid: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ports Authority had paid a deposit for a gantry crane and made the required payment for the contractor to complete building the East Container Terminal, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said.

The East Container Terminal, a part of which is already built is being completed as a fully SLPA owned terminal at a cost of 480 million dollars Ports and Shipping Minister de Silva said.

“ECT we are funding with money available in the ports authority,” he said.

“Up to now we have paid an advance for the gantry crane. And for the construction we have paid all the money agreed with the contractor. So that is going on well.”

Sri Lanka is undergoing the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s soft-pegged (flexible exchange rate) central bank which has created difficulties in funding the project.

“Every penny we collect as dollars we are keeping them separately and utilizing that for the Eastern Terminal work,” Minister de Silva said.

“We are confident that the ECT will be completed within the envisaged time. It is a difficult task in view of the dollar problem.

Banks were also not releasing the dollar deposits of the SLPA earlier but are now doing so, he said.

“Our deposits in banks they have utilized for urgent other national purposes,” he said.

“So they are releasing that money slowly. I am happy that they are releasing that money little by little. So with that we will be able to manage that.”

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