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Monday April 15th, 2024

Rescued black leopard dies; wildlife officials yet to determine cause of death

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ECONOMYNEXT – The rare dark-furred leopard that was rescued by wildlife officials from a hunters’ snare earlier this week died this morning after three days of treatment. Department of Wildlife Conversation (DWC) officials, under whose care the seven-year-old black panther was said to be recovering, have yet to determine the exact cause of death.

The wounded leopard was found and rescued on May 26 at the Lakshapana Estate in Nallathanniya, Hatton, and was later transported to the Randenigala Veterinary Hospital for treatment.

Initial examinations performed by Dr Malaka Abeyratne of the Udawalawa Department of Wildlife Conservation had revealed that the snare had heavily damaged the leopard’s neck area.

DWC veterinarian Dr Vijitha Perera told EconomyNext told EconomyNext that it was the only black panther reported in the Hatton area

“There are some records of black leopard sightings [in Sri Lanka], but this was the only one reported to be living in Hatton.”

Perera said the leopard’s remains were taken to the University of Peradeniya for a postmortem.

“We cannot clearly say what the reason for the death was until a postmortem is done,” Perera said.

DWC Director General Chandana Sooriyabandara, meanwhile, said the department is working on obtaining legal permission to conduct the postmortem.

“We have to do the postmortem from a government approved institute,” he told EconomyNext.

“The veterinarians have some hypotheses, but until the postmortem is done, we cannot say what the exact cause of death was,” he added.

The animal is a melanistic colour variant of the Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) and contrary to popular misconception is not a distinct species. (Colombo/ May 29/ 2020)

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Sri Lanka to discuss two contentious points with bondholders: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka and sovereign bondholders are to discuss two matters in the near future which the two sides failed to reach agreement at March talks in London, a media report quoting a top aide to President Wickremesinghe as saying.

Sri Lanka and bondholders had discussed four matters on restructuring international sovereign bonds in late March and agreement had been reached on two, President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake was quoted as saying on state-run ITN television.

A restructuring proposal by bondholders was not in line with IMF requirements, and Sri Lanka had sent a counter proposal, he said.

The matters will be discussed at round of talks in the near future.

Sri Lanka was optimistic of reaching an agreement with the bondholders before June, officials have said.

According to matters already in the public domain, sovereign bond holders are keen to get a bond tied to dollar gross domestic product, as they feel IMF growth projections are too low.

In past re-structuring so-called value recovery instruments, a type of warrant, gave their owners extra payments if a country did better than expected and were tied to items like oil prices.

Bondholders had initially proposed bond which would have a lower hair cut initially, and it will have additional hair cuts if growth is low (about 3.1 percent) as projected in an IMF debt sustainability analysis. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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BIMSTEC Secretary General visits Sri Lanka, discusses regional cooperation

ECONOMYNEXT – The Secretary General of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), discussed measures to enhance regional cooperation, during his visit to the island last week.

Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Secretary General of BIMSTEC visited Sri Lanka from 07 – 12 April 2024, following his assumption of office as Secretary General of BIMSTEC in January this year.

The Secretary General “met with senior officials of relevant Ministries/Agencies to discuss measures to enhance regional cooperation under various BIMSTEC initiatives,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Several BIMSTEC countries have bilateral trade agreements, such as Sri Lanka and India, Thailand and Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, but no collective regional agreement to enable intra-regional leverage.

During the visit, Secretary General Pandey held discussions with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and paid courtesy calls on the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Secretary General Pandey participated at an event on “Regional Cooperation through BIMSTEC” organized by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI) on 9 April. (Colombo/April15/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 299.00/10 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 299.00/10 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Monday, from 298.50/55 on Wednesday, dealers said, while bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed stable at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent up from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.20/40 percent. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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