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Tuesday December 5th, 2023

Saltwater croc that attacked Sri Lankan man at sea spotted again in canal

A saltwater crocodile – Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

ECONOMYNEXT – A saltwater crocodile that attacked a man in the sea off, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka, on Tuesday (04) was spotted next morning in the Wellawatta Canal a few kilometers away, the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department said.

“This was a saltwater crocodile residing in the lagoon and marshy areas between Panadura and Wellawatta. It was using the sea as a crossing point from one destination to another, when the incident occurred,” an official said.

Related: Sri Lankan man drowns in crocodile attack at sea

Investigations are under way and the wildlife department has deployed teams that are currently on standby in the event the croc is spotted again, the official said.

“Saltwater crocodiles are one of the most dangerous predators on the planet and can grow up to 20 feet long. We estimate this crocodile to be around 14 to 15 feet.”

The Sri Lanka Police Media Division stated that the victim, 57-year-old Kirulaponage Somasiri Jayantha, a resident of the Araliya Housing Scheme in Ratmalana, was diving for fish when the incident took place.

He had succumbed to his injuries before being admitted to the Kalubowila Hospital, where the official cause of death was ruled as drowning.

High profile crocodile attacks in the past few years include the death of British journalist Paul McClean (24) who was dragged into a river while on holiday in Arugambay in 2017, and the death of a police officer who was attacked by a crocodile in the Nilwala River in 2020.

Sri Lanka is home to two species of crocodile, saltwater and freshwater (mugger crocodile). Though there are around 2,500 to 3,500 saltwater crocodiles in the island, according to the wildlife department, attacks are very rare, in spite of  recent rise in incidents around the Nilwala area.

“This is an extremely unfortunate occurrence, but not something that happens often, or can be predicted. We urge the public to be cautious around wildlife, but of course unprecedented events like this do happen, and there is very little we can do about it,” the wildlife official said.

Attacks are so rare that statistic for fatalities per year are hard to come by, the official further said, adding that the Nilwala incidents were outliers in a way. (Colombo/Jan05/2021)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up as some investor interest returns

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Monday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was up 0.22 percent, or 23.33 points, at 10,743.59.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.68 percent, or 20.60 points, at 3,067.73.

Turnover was at 708 million. The banks sector contributed 189 million, while the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 176 million of this.

Sri Lanka’s stock market has seen some investor interest return after last week’s news that the country had managed an agreement on a debt restructuring deal with an official creditor committee, and foreign funds for some development projects resumed.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were Sampath Bank Plc (up at 71.50), LOLC Holdings Plc (up at 379.00), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, (up at 90.90).

There was a net foreign outflow of 52 million.

Citrus Leisure Plc, which announced that its banquet hall and revolving restaurant at the Lotus Tower would launch on or around Dec 9, saw its share price rise to 6.20 rupees. (Colombo/Dec4/2023).

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Sri Lanka rupee closes broadly steady at 328.10/30 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 328.10/30 to the US dollar on Monday, from 328.00/10 on Friday, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.70/14.00 percent from 13.70/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.10 percent from 13.90/14.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/14.10 percent from 14.05/10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.20/35 percent from 14.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.25/45 percent, from 14.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.05/40 percent, from 14.00/45 percent. (Colombo/Dec4/2023)

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Gov minister highlights abortion rights, sex-ed for children, and Sri Lanka men killing their women

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s legislators have politicized the topics of rape and violence without addressing the elephant in the room, Jeevan Thondaman, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development said in parliament on Monday (4).

“All the members here are talking about rape. What happens after that? We must talk about abortion rights. That is not something anyone wants to touch on, and that is why we are in this place right now,” Thondaman said.

“Despite alarming statistics on rape and violence, women are often blamed and punished for it. The criminalisation of abortion is a major example of this.”

Sri Lanka has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. According to a 2016 estimate by the Health Ministry, he said, approximately 658 abortions take place a day, and close to 250,000 a year.

“That’s 250,000 women whose lives you are endangering.”

He added that what was needed at this point in time was comprehensive sexual education (CSE) for children and young people.

“Only through CSE in schools will children and young people develop, accurate, age appropriate knowledge attitude and skills; positive values such as respect for human rights, gender equality, diversity and attitude and skills that contribute to a safe, healthy and positive relationship.”

Thondaman pointed out that CSE plays a pivotal role in preparing young people for a world where HIV, AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, and sexual and gender based violence still pose a risk to their well-being.

“CSE basically empowers children take control and make informed decisions freely and responsibly.”

Thondaman also highlighted the findings of a 2021 study (Fatalities_20211109_UNFPA) by the UNFPA and the University of Kelaniya that showed that a majority of women killed in Sri Lanka were murdered by those close to them.

“62 percent of homicides of Sri Lankan women are committed by either an intimate partner, ex-partner or family member. 84 percent are killed in their own homes by someone they know.”

Police and the judiciary have failed Sri Lanka’s women, the minister pointed out.

“Only 5 percent of these cases, between 2013-2017, were ever concluded. Men claim they were provoked, or are of unsound mind or have mental illness: These have been successful defenses. And the Police often express sympathy to this narrative as opposed to the victim’s.”

“We have a history of protecting oppressors.”

It takes 7-10 years for a child rape case to conclude, he pointed out.

Establishment of child courts are needed, he said, as well as several legislative amendments. “The government is working on a new law to reform the domestic violence act, reform of marriage and divorce laws to ensure there is an easier path to divorce: no one should be forced to remain in a marriage that is either abusive or not healthy.” (Colombo/Dec4/2023)

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