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Tuesday May 21st, 2024

Over 300 Sri Lanka lawyers flock to represent 53 arrested protestors

ECONONYNEXT – More than 300 lawyers appeared on behalf of the 53 people to ensure the rule of law, a senior lawyer said on Saturday, a day after a court granted bail for police-detained suspects following a violent protest near President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Mirihana private residence.

Police used tear gas and water cannons late on Thursday to disperse hundreds of protesters who tried to enter Rajapaksa’s residence after a silent protest turned violent.

Except six, all other arrested people were granted bail after police failed to present any strong evidence that the arrested people were involved in damaging public property. The six under arrest will be produced in an identification parade.

“This is a victory for lawyers,” senior lawyer Saadi Wadood, who appeared on behalf of arrested people, told Economy Next.

“Large number of lawyers voluntarily came forward to ensure the right of the people who expressed their displeasure is safeguarded.”

Many lawyers turned up Friday at Mirihana police and called for help from other seniors, ensuring that all the arrested people were produced in the court with legal representation.

The lawyers included Saliya Pieris, the president of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, several senior civil and criminal lawyers, and their juniors.

Lawyers who were present at Mirihana police station clapped when the detained were taken by the police to a bus before they were taken to Nugegoda Magistrate court.

“All the lawyers came forward because we thought we have a moral duty to make sure the rule of law prevailed,” Wadood said.

“This is the first time we have seen lawyers voluntarily coming together after former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was removed in 2013,” Wadood said.

Bandaranayake was impeached by the parliament when she struck down a bill presented by current finance minister Basil Rajapaksa during the presidency of his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Bandaranayake was later re-instated briefly in 2015 under a new administration before her retirement.

Thursday’s protest came amid continuous suffering by the public who were forced to go from pillar to post to find cooking gas, fuel, and milk powder while power was cut up to 13 hours a day.

Protesters have demanded Rajapaksa to step down.

Sri Lanka is facing forex shortages and high inflation after two years of money printing by an intermediate regime central bank which has a habit of suppressing market interest rate under various pretexts until a currency crisis develops.

Calls have intensified to set up a currency board to stop inflationist-devaluationist ideologues (competitive exchange rate artists, REER targeters and modern monetary theorists) from printing money using ‘flexible’ policy but an unstable currency peg.

Wadood, however, said protesters also have a duty to make sure they do not resort to any violence.

“People have the fundamental rights to express their displeasure without crossing the limit,” he said.

“If somebody within the group or a third party is trying to create violence, it’s their duty to prevent such violence.” (Colombo/April 2/2022)

Comments (2)

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  1. dickie bird says:

    Is it of want or opportunistic ????? Presence of 300 was not necessary. Anyway 300 were present. Yes, I was there and to be seen.
    This is Sri Lanka

  2. Triple X says:

    At least now the educated are using their brain.

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

  1. dickie bird says:

    Is it of want or opportunistic ????? Presence of 300 was not necessary. Anyway 300 were present. Yes, I was there and to be seen.
    This is Sri Lanka

  2. Triple X says:

    At least now the educated are using their brain.

Sri Lanka declares May 21 as National Mourning day over Iranian President’s death

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka declared a national mourning day on Tuesday, May 21 in view of expressing its solidarity with Iran after sudden death of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi following a helicopter crash.

President Raisi and eight others including Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were killed in the crash when the helicopter had a “hard landing” reportedly due to adverse weather conditions with heavy fog. However, President’s two convoy helicopters reached the destination safely.

“The Sri Lankan government has declared a national mourning day on tomorrow (May 21) on behalf of the sudden death of Iranian president Mr. Ebrahim Raisi,” the Department of Government Information said in a statement.

It also urged all the state institutions have to hoist the national flag half mast.

Raisi was in Sri Lanka on April 24 to launch the Uma Oya dam on a one-day official visit amid tight security. His helicopter crashed when he was returning to Iran after launching a dam in the Azerbaijan border.

President Raisi is seen as a hardliner and a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said the island nation will deal with Iran for investments and trade without being caught into the United States-led sanctions.

Sri Lanka was unable to receive $450 million from Iran for a recently opened Uma Oya multipurpose project started before the sanctions.

Sri Lanka now exports tea to Iran for no dollar payment. Instead, Sri Lanka tea producers are paid by the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in rupees for the pending crude oil import payments for Iran.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his condolences on the tragic incident.

“Sri Lanka is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and other senior Irani official,” he said in his official X-platform.

“I express my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the government and the people of Iran.”

Raisi, a Muslim jurist, served as the eighth president of Iran from 2021 until his death. (Colombo/May 20/2024)

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Sri Lanka helps launch Global Blended Finance Alliance

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has joined a group of nations led by Indonesia which aims to mobilise capital to achieve carbon neutrality, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Jeevan Thondaman said.

The Global Blended Finance Alliance mooted by Indonesia in 2018, was formally launched at the World Water Forum in Bali today.

Among the other founding members are Fiji, France, UAE, Kenya, Luxembourg and Canada.

“Through our collective efforts, the Global Blended Finance Alliance aims to mobilise both public and private capital to help nations achieve carbon neutrality and the SDGs,” Thondaman said on social media platform X (twitter).

“The world has a USD 2.5 trillion funding gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,” he said.

Blended finance is the strategic use of development finance, such as public and/or philanthropic funds, for the mobilisation of additional commercial finance towards sustainable development in developing countries. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes slightly stronger at 299.60/75 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee appreciated slightly to close at 299.60/75 to the US dollar on Friday, from 299.70/80 the previous week, dealers said. Bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed up at 10.15/35 percent from 10.05/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed up at 10.45/55 percent from 10.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 10.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2030 closed at 11.70/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed up at 11.90/12.05 percent from 11.85/12.00 percent. (Colombo/May20/2024)

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