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Saturday April 20th, 2024

Sri Lanka adds trousers and skirts to lawyer’s attire, removes frocks

ECONOMYNEXT –  Sri Lankan government has included trousers and skirts as legally accepted dress codes in courts for female judges and Attorneys-at-Laws through a new gazette published last week while removing the initially permitted frocks from the list.

According to the new gazette, lawyers and judges are now permitted to wear a saree and jacket in white, black, off-white, grey or mauve, black trouser or skirt with white blouse, black coat and shoes.

The length of the trouser should be to the ankle and the length of the skirt should fall below the knee when seated, the gazette said.

The new gazette came into effect on March 30, has rescinded the earlier gazette that approved the frock as an attire for lawyers.

“While the choice of saree and frock has been given prior to 2018, female lawyers did not wear the frock with the exception of Muslim counsels,” Swastika Arulingam, an attorney-at-law told EconomyNext.

“On one occasion when a counsel did wear a dress, she was harassed by male colleagues.”

The frock, which was permitted to female attorneys since the 2018 gazette, is no longer mentioned as acceptable attire for female attorneys.

“In addition to the new supreme court rule introducing skirts along with  to pants and sarees, strict instructions have been provided on the length of the skirt,”Arulingam said.

“The new rule not only inconveniences women including pregnant women who are opting for the dress, but also strictly polices women on the length of the attire.”

Officials from Bar Association of Sri Lanka were not immediately available for comments with regard to the amended law.

It was also not immediately clear if Muslim women lawyers would be allowed to wear abaya, an attire similar to frock which covers the whole body except the head, feet, and hands.

The change in dress codes for female attorneys echoed the discussion on the changing of dress codes for female teachers employed in government schools, but the proposal was later rejected by education minister Susil Premajayantha citing the new dress code is not suitable for Sri Lankan culture. (Colombo/April07/2023)

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Sri Lanka discussing giving extra land, water for Chinese oil refinery

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in discussions with China’s Sinopec to give extra land and assure water supplies after the company decided to expand the capacity of a planned oil refinery in Hambantota, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.

“There are concerns on how the water supply is going to be provided for the refinery,” Minister Wijesekera told reporters Friday.

The refinery will need more land and also revise conditions in a Board of Investment agreement, he said.

Read more
Sinopec to double capacity of new refinery in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota

Recommendations and decisions from Sri Lanka’s side had already been sent and Sinopec is expected to revert back in May.

“We are hoping to sign the agreement once everyone has agreed,” Wijesekara said.

The principle agreements are expected to be signed by June, he said.

The refinery could sell up to 10 percent of its output in the domestic market.

“There is no commitment by the government to purchase anything,” Minister Wijesekera said. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 302.00/50 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 302.00/50 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Friday, down from 301.50/302.00 a day earlier, dealers said.

There was increased demand for dollars after the central bank bought 715 million dollars from forex markets. In the previous two months it was buying on average about 200 million US dollars, leaving market participants and bank in a ‘oversold’ position.

There were some official dollars sales Friday dealers said.

READ Sri Lanka rupee quoted wide to US dollar as peg inconsistencies flare up

Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 11.30/40 percent down from 11.35/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.95/12.05 percent up from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed stable at 12.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.30/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 12.40/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, banks trade down

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

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.38 percent, or 44.80 points, at 11,753; while the S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.53 percent, or 18.46 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was at 1.4 billion. The diversified financials (Rs366mn) and banks (Rs266mn) sectors continued to see selling pressure.

“This was possibly due to uncertainty around the bond discussions,” market participants said.

With the exception of Sampath Bank Plc (up at 77.50) all other banks traded down in the day. Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc was down at 104.50, Hatton National Bank Plc was down at 188.50, and DFCC Bank Plc was down at 77.00.

LOLC Finance Plc saw the most trades and closed up at 6.40. Another LOLC company, Browns Investments Plc, also saw high traded volumes and closed up at 5.60.

Softlogic Capital Plc was up at 7.00, and Softlogic Holdings Plc was up at 11.20. A trading suspension imposed on SHL.N0000 was lifted effective today as the company submitted the annual report for the year ended 31st March 2023.

However, shares of the Company will remain in the Watch List “due to Qualified Audit Opinion and Emphasis of matter on going concern in the Independent Auditor’s Report in the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st March 2022.”

Dialog Axiata Plc, which announced its merger with Bharti Airtel Thursday, saw its share price close up at 11.90.

“There was some traction on index heavyweights,” market participants pointed out.

Top contributors to the APSI included Aitken Spence Plc (up at 134.50), Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (up at 1,245.25, and Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc (up at 1,048.50).

There was a net foreign inflow of 5 million. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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