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Friday July 12th, 2024

Land, truth & reconciliation commission bills ready for parliament: president

ECONOMYNEXT — Bills for the proposed Truth, Unity and Reconciliation Commission and National Land Commission are ready to be submitted to parliament and an agreement has also been reached on the proposed Jana Sabha system, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Speaking at the funeral of former opposition leader and leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R Sampanthan, Wickremesinghe said the government has newly proposed decentralising maximum power within the framework of the 13th amendment in the distribution of power, with the report of the Nawaz Commission also to be discussed.

“There are issues among Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities with the Forest Department regarding the acquisition of their villages. I hope to empower this commission to resolve those issues by law,” Wickremesinghe said referring to the proposed land commission.

The president made these remarks in reference to solutions to Sri Lanka’s long-standing ethnic issue. He further said that provincial council elections will be held after the presidential election, which is to be held this year.

“Due to the complexities in the new system, requests were made to hold the provincial council elections according to the old system. There was an agreement among us for that. It was decided to ensure women and youth representation and to allow parliamentarians to compete for these elections while retaining their membership,” he said.

“By implementing the 13th amendment, we are negotiating with the chief ministers who are now representing the parliament to transfer a number of other powers from the central government, excluding police powers. Other powers can be discussed later,” he said.

The full implementation of the 13th amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution has been a politically contentious issue, with successive governments touting it as a solution to the grievances of the Tamil community. Parties on the south including those that do not oppose the amendment are divided on the question of sharing police and land powers. (Colombo/Jul08/2024)

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Sri Lanka appoints new Attorney General

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed K A Parinda Ranasinghe PC as Attorney General.

He was appointed in terms of Article 61E (b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the president’s media division said.

The new AG received the appointment from President Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday.

He fills the post after the retirement of former Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 301.70/302.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger at 301.70/302.00 to the US dollar on Friday, from 302.80/303.00 to the US dollar on Thursday, dealers said, while bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.90/11.00 percent, up from 10.85/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.75/80 percent, up from 11.80/88 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.10/30 percent, up from 12.15/25 percent. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, muted activity

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.35 percent, or 41.71 points, at 11,843; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.56 percent, or 19.20 points, at 3,454.

Turnover was low at 653 million.

“The market picked up a bit from yesterday but it’s still below the psychological 12,000 mark,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“Local retail participation drove the market predominantly.”

John Keells Holdings Plc brought in Rs109mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 194.50.

Melstacorp Plc contributed in Rs104mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 85.00.

Sentiment around the banking counters was mostly negative. Sampath Bank Plc closed down at 77.00, closed flat at 101.25, and Hatton National Bank Plc closed flat at 195.25.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (up at 103.50), Bukit Darah Plc (up at 397.00), and Hayleys Plc (up at 101.00).

Foreign participation remained low as well. There was a higher net foreign outflow of 101 million.

“Foreign selling was seen on John Keells Holdings, and banking counters; Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 195.00), Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc (down at 20.70), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

There was selective foreing interest on the diversified financials sector, particularly in companies that had vehicle leasing portfolios. “We think this might be due to the news of the vehicle import ban possibly ending.”

LOLC Holdings Plc closed up at 440.50, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc closed up at 12.20.

Softlogic Holdings Plc which announced the date of its rights issue, closed up at 8.50. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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