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Tuesday June 18th, 2024

Key Sri Lankan protester arrested for July offence after agitation near parliament

ECONOMYNEXT – A populour Sri Lankan protest leader and actress was arrested on Wednesday for an offence which police alleged her to have committed on July 10 on citing she forcibly entered the Presidential Secretariat.

The arrest, however, came following Damitha Aberyratne spoke against President Ranil Wickremesinghe and his government for not addressing the plight of people who have been suffering of high cost of living.

“People in the country can’t afford goods any longer. Mothers don’t have money to give milk to their children,” she told media at the protest site near parliament where most of the protesters who forced the resignation of former president and prime minister told reporters.

“These people (leaders) don’t understand the plight of the people because they aren’t with the people, so obviously our struggles and difficulties are gone unseen.”

“Our politicians are here to maintain the power, protect their sons and maintain political ties but that’s all they do. People have come forgetting color, race and party and if they don’t stand up on behalf of the country.

“Don’t be blinded or stay quiet, come out and voice out your difficulties, otherwise we will never be understood. They thought the struggle was over but its not like that, we are here because the struggle is not over.”

According to Sri Lanka’s Police Media Division, the actress was arrested at 7.00 pm by the Colombo Crimes Division and further investigations will be undertaken by the Fort Police.

During the protest Abeyratne told the media,

Abeyratne urged the people to voice out their agitations and frustrations instead of remaining quiet and said that, “If we forget about the aragalaya (struggle ), these politicians will continue to sit in power.”

Sri Lanka is presently facing its worst economic breakout, which is witnessed through galloping inflation accelerated by continuous money printing, as the prices tended to steepen,

Sri Lankans brought themselves to the street demanding the resignation of former leader President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Already, Sri Lanka is widely criticized for its human rights violation by suppressing the dissent voices. Protesters have demanded to release three key protest leaders who are detained under the prevention of terrorism act (PTA). (Colombo/Sept07/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber links up with Gujarat Chamber

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has signed an agreement with the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) to increase trade cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

The MOU was signed by CCC CEO Buwanekabahu Perera, SGCCI President Ramesh Vaghasia, in the presence of Dr Valsan Vethody, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India.

“With the signing of the MoU, … the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and SGCCI aim to facilitate trade between the two countries via initiatives such as trade fairs and delegations, business networking events, training programmes,” the Ceylon Chamber said in a statement.

“This partnership will open doors for Sri Lankan businesses to explore opportunities in Surat’s dynamic market and enable the sharing of expertise and resources between the two regions.”

Established in 1940, SGCCI engages with over 12,000 members and indirect ties with more than 2,00,000 members via 150 associations. It promotes trade, commerce, and industry in South Gujarat.

The region’s commercial and economic centre Surat has risen to prominence as the global epicenter for diamond cutting and as India’s textile hub, and is ranked the world’s 4th fastest growing city with a GDP growth rate of 11.5%

Surat’s economic landscape is vibrant and diverse. As India’s 8th largest and Gujarat’s 2nd largest city, it boasts the highest average annual household income in the country.

The nearby Hazira Industrial Area hosts major corporations like Reliance, ESSAR, SHELL, and L&T. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka telecommunications bill some clauses ruled unconstitutional by SC: Speaker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has found a number of clauses in a proposed amendment to the Telecom Telecommunications Amendment bill unconstitutional, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said.

“Clause No 8, proposed section 9A 2 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution, however this inconsistency shall cease if word ‘may’ will be replaced with word ‘shall’ as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

“Clause No 9 is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and only can be passed with special majority required under paragraph 2 of the Article 84. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.

Clause No 12, proposed section 17 10 of the bill is inconsistent with Article 12 1 of the constitution and can only be passed with special parliament majority required under Article 84 paragraph 2. However, the inconsistency shall cease if clause is amended as set out in the determination of the supreme court.”

Sections of clauses 13, 18, 20, 33 and 35 were also in violation of the constitution, and could only be passed by a special majority of parliament. (Colombo/Jun18/2024)

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Sri Lanka to exempt one house from imputed rent wealth tax: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will exempt one house from a proposed wealth tax outlined in an International Monetary Fund program, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

About 90 percent of the people’s houses are likely to be exempt from the proposed tax, he said.

“[O]ne house will be exempt from this,” President Wickremesinghe told parliament Monday.

“It is going to have a very high threshold and I do not think the vast majority of the people in this country should even be worried about their house

“Don’t worry your house will be safe.”

The IMF program document however did not mention an exempt on one house, but did mention a threshold.

Taxing houses and thrift in general could have detrimental effects on people’s well-being housing stock and their willingness to remain in the country without migrating, critics say.

Related Sri Lanka to tax imaginary rents on houses under IMF deal

The mechanism of imputed rents was used because rates on houses was assigned to provincial councils and courts could strike it down.

Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva said the Samagi Jana Balwegaya welcomed President Wickremesinghe’s statement. (Colombo/June18/2024)

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