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Monday December 5th, 2022

Some missing Sri Lanka Commonwealth athletes found by UK, locations not disclosed

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka athletes who went missing after going to the UK to attend Commonwealth Games have been located but British authorities have not disclosed the locations, an official said.

Sri Lanka has seen a spike in boat people amid the worst currency crisis in the history of the central bank with the rupee falling from 182 to 370 to the US dollar over two years.

During the Commonwealth games 2022, which held in Birmingham, UK 10 of the Sri Lankan athletes and an official decamped from the games villages without informing the officials of the Sri Lankan team or the Commonwealth games.

An official of the Judo team, contestants in judo, wrestling, boxing and beach volleyball went missing. There were two females.

Major General Dampath Fernando who was appointed as the Chef de Mission of the Sri Lanka team for the 22nd Commonwealth Games said, any person in the village had the freedom to leave the village at any time.

“It was also disheartening to note that during the games, 10 athletes and an official disserted us and they have decamped, which has brought discredit and black mark to our country as whole,” Fernando said at the Facilitation of the Medal winners event on Thursday (25).

“Firstly, one of our team mangers, so called the president of the Judo federation, a senior military officer decided to decamp. Not only that he also encouraged his team mates to do the same. Likewise, all together 10 athletes went. It has brought so much discredit to the country.”

All the athletes who left the team participated but went with that motive of deserting and were not focusing on their respective events, he said.

Since the athletes have six months’ visa multiple, there are no legal barriers for them to remain in the UK for the next six months, Fernando said,

“So even if they stayed without passport, they can stay in UK without an issue. In fact, when I asked from the police, they told me the protocol is to carry out investigation.”

UK Birmingham Police had located about 6 of the missing people, however, locations of their hideouts have not been disclosed to the Sri Lankan officials under immigration law of the UK.

Fernando said, after the first two players, the president of the Judo and a player the Birmingham Police who was investigating the incident has sent a message through the Commonwealth secretariat saying they have located two of the missing people and mentioned that the Police have contacted them and were informed both were well and fine.

“After some time when three boxers went missing, when I was chatting with the officer who was in charge and he said, the first two players who were located were given their passports,” Fernando said.

“I said, we respect the UK law, but those two who were located are Sri Lankan athletes, that is employed by the Army. And they will be listed as deserted soldiers. They are here with the government funding and it is not a correct decision to give the passport for them.”

“At that time, he had another passport of a missing athlete and handed over to me, after mentioning all passports will be given to the high Commission of Sri Lanka in UK.”

It was not clear whether they will apply for asylum, Fernando said.

“Even if they do that they will be sent to Uganda. Two batches have been sent like that.”

Meanwhile, Amal Harsha De Silva, the secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports said, an independent probe will be actions against the athletes based on the report.

Sri Lanka has seen a spike in boat people after the rupee fell from 182 to 360 to the US dollar after two years of money printing to target an output gap. (Colombo/ Aug 26/2022)

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Paris Club proposes 10-year moratorium on Sri Lanka debt, 15 years of debt restructuring

ECONOMYNEXT — The Paris Club group of creditor nations has proposed a 10-year debt moratorium on Sri Lankan debt and 15 years of debt restructuring as a formula to resolve the island nation’s prevailing currency crisis, India’s The Hindustan Times reported.

While the Paris Club has yet to formally reach out to India and China, Colombo has yet to initiate a formal dialogue with the Xi Jinping regime, the newspaper reported on Saturday December 03, inferring that the chances of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approving its 2.9 billion dollar extended fund facility for Sri Lanka in December now ranges from very low to nonexistent.

“This means that Sri Lanka will have to wait for the March IMF meeting of the IMF before any aid is extended by the Bretton Woods institution,” the newspaper reported.

“Fact is that for Sri Lanka to revive, creditors will have to take a huge hair cut with Paris Club clearly hinting that global south should also take the same cut as global north notwithstanding the inequitable distribution of wealth. In the meantime, as Colombo is still to get its act together and initiate a dialogue and debt reconciliation with China, it will need bridge funding to sustain the next three month before the IMF executive board meeting in March 2023. Clearly, things will get much worse for Sri Lanka before they get any better—both economically and politically,” the report said. (Colombo/Dec04/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea prices up amid low volumes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka tea prices picked up at the last auction in November amid low volumes, brokers said.

“Auction offerings continued to record a further decline and totalled 4.2 million Kilograms, of which Ex-Estate offerings comprised of 0.6 million Kilograms. There was good demand,” Forbes and Walker Tea brokers said.

“In the Ex-Estate catalogues, overall quality of teas showed no appreciable change. Here again, there was good demand in the backdrop of extremely low volumes.”

High Growns

BOP Best Westerns were firm to 50 rupees per kg dearer. Below best and plainer types were Rs.50/- per kg easier on last.

Nuwara Eliya’s were firm.

BOPF Best Westerns were firm to selectively dearer. Below best and plainer teas declined by 50 rupees per kg.

Uva/Uda Pussellawas’ were generally firm and price variances were often reflective of quality with the exception of Select Best Uva BOPF’s which were firm and up to 50 rupees per kilogram dearer.

CTC teas, in general, were mostly firm.

“Most regular buyers were active, with perhaps a slightly more forceful trend from the local trade,” brokers said.

Corresponding OP1’s met with improved demand. Well-made OP/OPA’s in general were fully firm, whilst the Below Best varieties and poorer sorts met with improved demand. PEK/PEK1’s, in general, were fully firm to selectively dearer.

In the Tippy catalogues, well-made FBOP/FF1’s sold around last levels, whilst the cleaner Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom appreciated. Balance too were dearer to a lesser extent.

In the Premium catalogues, very Tippy teas continued to attract good demand. Best were firm to selectively dearer, whilst the Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom appreciated

Low Growns

Low Growns comprised 1.8 million Kilograms. Market met with improved demand, in general.

In the Leafy & Semi Leafy catalogues, select Best BOP1/OP1’s were fully firm, whilst the Below Best/bolder BOP1’s were barely steady.

Low-grown teas, farmed mainly by smallholders and exported to the Middle East and Central Asia, are the most sought-after and expensive Ceylon Teas.

Low-grown CTC prices have gained this week to 982.80 per kilogram this week from 934.76 per kilogram last week.

Few Select best BOP1s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower. Poorer types maintained.

BOPF’s in general, firm market.

FBOPF/FBOPF1’s select best and best increased in value, whilst the below best and bottom held firm.

Selected best BOP1’s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower.Poorer types maintained.

OP1’s selects best together with best and below best were firm to dearer. Poorer sorts were fully firm.

Medium Growns

BOPF’s, select best gained by 50 rupees per kilogram. Others maintained.

BOP1’s select best dearer by 100 rupees per kg whilst all others moved up by 50 rupees per kg.

OP1: select best gained by 100 rupees per kg whilst all others dearer by 100 rupees per kg.

OP/OPA’s in general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg whilst the poorer sorts were firm.

PEK’s Select best gained by 50 rupees per kg whilst all others maintained. PEK1: In general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg. (Colombo/Dec 04/2022)

 

 

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Sri Lanka Ports Authority East Terminal contractor paid: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ports Authority had paid a deposit for a gantry crane and made the required payment for the contractor to complete building the East Container Terminal, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said.

The East Container Terminal, a part of which is already built is being completed as a fully SLPA owned terminal at a cost of 480 million dollars Ports and Shipping Minister de Silva said.

“ECT we are funding with money available in the ports authority,” he said.

“Up to now we have paid an advance for the gantry crane. And for the construction we have paid all the money agreed with the contractor. So that is going on well.”

Sri Lanka is undergoing the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s soft-pegged (flexible exchange rate) central bank which has created difficulties in funding the project.

“Every penny we collect as dollars we are keeping them separately and utilizing that for the Eastern Terminal work,” Minister de Silva said.

“We are confident that the ECT will be completed within the envisaged time. It is a difficult task in view of the dollar problem.

Banks were also not releasing the dollar deposits of the SLPA earlier but are now doing so, he said.

“Our deposits in banks they have utilized for urgent other national purposes,” he said.

“So they are releasing that money slowly. I am happy that they are releasing that money little by little. So with that we will be able to manage that.”

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