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Thursday June 20th, 2024

Sri Lanka apex court rules de-radicalisation regulations unconstitutional

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has ruled that the Prevention of Terrorism (De-radicalisation from holding violent extremist religious ideology) Regulations No. 1 of 2021 violated Articles 10, 12(1) & 13 of the constitution and were null and void.

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) challenged the validity of the guidelines in April 2021, and  a stay order preventing the application of the rehabilitation scheme was issued in January 2022, the CPA said in a statement on Monday November 13.

The scheme under the guidelines would have amounted to pre-trial punishment, and would have permitted the abuse of power, allowing the state to police the freedom of thought and conscience of the people, the CPA said.

The regulations were published in the Extraordinary Gazette No. 2218/68 dated Friday, March 12, 2021.

In its petition filed in April 2021, the CPA and its Executive Director Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said that while they recognised the need to integrate a process of rehabilitation into the criminal justice system, the impugned regulations violate several of Sri Lanka’s constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights, of the petitioners as well as of the general public.

The petitioners argued that the regulations served to enable the denial of due process, due judicial protection and a fair trial, and result in an arbitrary deprivation of liberty, entailing infringement and/or imminent infringement of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 12(1), 13(2), 13(3), 13(4) and 13(5) of the constitution.

“They also argue that the impugned regulations, and the broad language contained therein, entail provisions that may result in degrading treatment of persons and deny persons the safeguards provided by law in cases of detention and imprisonment and thus and otherwise entail infringement and/or imminent infringement of Articles 10, 11, 14(1)(a), 14(1)(c), 14(1)(e) and 14(1)(f) of the constitution,” the CPA said in a statement at the time.

The petitioners also maintained that the impugned regulations are ultra vires as they have not been promulgated by the proper authority and thus and otherwise entail infringement of Article 12(1) of the constitution. They further argued that the impugned regulations had the effect of conferring and/or transferring discretion required to be exercised (as may be duly conferred upon it by law) by the judicial arm of government, to the executive arm of government in a manner inconsistent with Articles 3 and 4 of the constitution and thus and otherwise entail infringement of Article 12(1) of the constitution.

The petitioners prayed for inter alia declarations that the impugned regulations violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution, and that they are null and void and of no avail in law. (Colombo/Nov13/2023)

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Sri Lanka shares debt management experience at global forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has shared its experiences at a forum on debt management to “provide lessons for others”, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe has said.

Semasinghe spoke on “The Role of Debt Management in Navigating Crises” at the 14th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders’ Forum, in Livingstone, Zambia.

“I shared the experiences of Sri Lanka which can provide valuable lessons for others and explored the critical elements of capacity building and sound institutional practices in managing debt, particularly in the context of economic challenges,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“Sri Lanka’s experience demonstrates that effective debt management is not just about managing numbers but also about building robust institutions and capacities.”

The journey underscores the importance of transparent, accountable governance and the need for international support and cooperation in times of crisis, he said.

“Sri Lanka prioritized addressing gaps in public debt management by drafting a consolidated Public Debt Management Act, ensuring clarity and legal robustness and establishing a centralized Public Debt Management Office with operational autonomy.

“The role of debt management in navigating crises is multifaceted and critical. Further, by investing in capacity building, adhering to sound institutional practices, and strategically managing debt restructuring and liability operations, countries can better withstand economic shocks and pave the way for sustainable recovery.”

Developing countries face severe debt distress as they are more vulnerable to external shocks, Semasinghe said, and “managing global debt requires coordinated international efforts on debt restructuring where necessary, timely fiscal policy adaptation and help sustainable economic growth.”

The state minister also pointed out the financial impact of climate change was an emerging challenge, as countries need investment to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, “especially through non-debt creating inflows, which would require private capital mobilization.” (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 305.10/30 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger ahead of the long weekend at 305.10/30 to the US dollar on Thursday, up from 305.40/55 to the US dollar Wednesday, dealers said, while some bond yields edged up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.45/80 percent, up from 10.35/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.00/15 percent, up from 11.95/12.35 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.05/25 percent.
(Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, JKH trade pushes turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Thursday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.19 percent, or 23.11 points, at 12,249; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.15 percent, or 5.33 points, at 3,610.

Turnover was 2 billion. Nearly half of this (Rs980mn) came from a crossing on John Keells Holdings Plc. The share closed down at 202.00.

“There were several crossings today which pushed turnover,” market participants said.

“Institutions and high net-worth activity drove the market, while the retail investors we feel are still about uncertain and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

Melstacorp Plc was among the companies that saw active volumes (Rs194mn) in the day. The share closed up at 87.10.

Top contributors to the index included TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 41.70), Sampath Bank Plc (up at 79.50), Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 201.00). Hayleys Plc (up at 105.00) and its subsidiary Hayleys Fabric Plc (up at 46.60) were also positive contributors. (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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