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Friday June 14th, 2024

Sri Lanka Catholic church spokesman questioned over info on Easter attack

FILE PHOTO – Navy personnel guarding the Kochchikade shrine after the Easter Sunday attacks/Pathum Dhananjana EconomyNext

ECONOMYNEXT — Father Cyril Gamini Fernando, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Colombo, was summoned to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Friday April 19 to inquire about information he is said to possess on the 2019 Easter bombings.

Fr Fernando told reporters outside the CID premises Friday morning that he had shared what he knew but is sceptical that it would be of any use.

“We have shared what we know plenty of times. But we don’t see there has been an inquiry on that. I don’t know to what extent the statement I made will be useful,” he said.

“As far as I know, there is enough information to investigate and to find out the truth and who was behind this, based on information already revealed. But that is not happening.”

The priest expressed scepticism over the progress of the investigations.

“This is not an issue with the law. It’s an issue with those implementing the law. As citizens, we came when requested and did our duty.

“Personally I’m not confident there will be justice. If it didn’t happen for five years, I don’t think it will because of my statement.,” he said.

“The way I see it, this system must change,” he added.

Fr Fernando is the editor of the Gnanartha Pradeepya, a Sinhalese Catholic weekly published by the church. He was previously summoned to the CID in November 2021.

The Easter attacks, carried out by Islamist terrorists over the course of a few hours on Sunday April 21, 2019, killed 269 people and injured over 500. The incident triggered anti-Muslim violence and also caused considerable damage to the tourism industry and other sectors of the economy.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa rode a wave of nationalist sentiment in the wake of the attacks, resulting in his landslide victory at the November 2019 presidential election.

However, Rajapaksa was forced to resign less than three years later after Sri Lanka’s economy nearly crashed on his watch. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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Sri Lanka opposition leader proposes Grama Rajya system in addition to 13A

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa (r) – File photo

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has proposed devolving power to the village level through a Grama Rajya system in addition to implementing the 13th amendment to the constitution.

Speaking at an event in Jaffna on on Wednesday June 12, Premadasa said all provinces will benefit from the 13th amendment.

“Whatever one’s ethnicity, religion, status or region, this country has citizens of equal level. They’re all Sri Lankan citizens.

“There is no division or grouping.  As we give you and every other province what you should be given through the 13th amendment, we must implement a Grama Rajya system,” Premadasa said, addressing a crowd of school children and other attendees.

Premadasa’s assurance of implementing the 13th amendment has already drawn some protest in the south.

A collective of civil society organisations held a protest outside the office of the leader of the opposition in Colombo on Thursday June 12.

Calling itself the ‘Coalition Against Partition of Sri Lanka’, the group carrying national flags marched up to the opposition leader’s office Thursday June 13 morning and demonstrated against the full implementation of the 13th amendment.

“We arrived here today to hand over a missive against devolving police powers, land powers and judicial powers. If Mr Premadasa is inside, come outside,” Jamuni Kamantha Thushara, Chairman of the Citizen’s Movement Against Fraud, Corruption, and Waste, was seen declaring at the site.

“First of all, tell us what we stand to achieve by dividing and giving away the north and east,” said another protestor, warning against bringing the 13th amendment “anywhere here (paththa palaathe)”.

A police officer at the scene the protestors that a secretary to the opposition leader was ready to accept their letter.

“In Kilonochchi, he says the 13th amendment will be implemented. The votes in the north are going to be decisive this election. To win those votes, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith and Anura Kumara Dissanayake all say they will implement the 13th. We will not allow this country to be divided into nine pieces,” said Thushara.

Ven Balangoda Kassapa Thero, who was arrested on June 06 during a protest against the new Electricity Act, was also seen at Thursday’s protest. The Buddhist monk requested for a debate with Premadasa on the matter of the 13th amendment. (Colombo/Jun12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.85/95 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed broadly flat at 303.85/95 to the US dollar on Thursday, from 303.80/304.00 to the dollar the previous day, dealers said. Bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.00/30 percent, down from 10.20/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 10.60/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.00/15 percent, down from 11.15/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 11.80/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 11.85/12.05 percent, down from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 11.95/12.15 percent. (Colombo/Jun13/2024)

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Sri Lanka sells Rs295bn in 2027 to 2031 bonds

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has sold 295 billion rupees in 2027, 2029 and 2031 bonds, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold an offered 60 billion rupees of 15 October 2027 at an average yield of 10.30 percent.

All offered 125 billion rupees of 15 September 2029 bonds were sold at 11.00 percent.

All 110 billion rupees offered of 01 December 2031 bonds were sold at 12.00 percent. (Colombo/May13/2024)

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