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Monday December 4th, 2023

Sri Lanka classical music director goes mainstream

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka classical music director and pianist Soundarie David Rodrigo, is launching her first mainstream music video with a song in two languages sung by Shehara Liyanage and Hirushi Jayasena, online fashion retailer Odel.lk, which is backing the release said.

‘Complicated’ or ‘Mulawe Maya’ by Soundarie Rodrigo is the first song in Sri Lanka to be released simultaneously in English and Sinhala, on International Women’s Day, Odel, a unit of Softlogic Holdings Plc said.

The song composed by Rodrigo was transcribed to Sinhala by Shehan Galahitiyawa.

“We are deeply honoured to partner with Soundarie as she forays into the world of main stream music, after years of being in the forefront of the Sri Lankan western classical music industry and having fostered much young talent herself,” Softlogic Holdings Plc Group Marketing Director Desiree Karunaratne said in a statement.

“This is nothing but a promisingly positive beginning to the ‘Composed by Odel.lk’ initiative to empower female artists in the country who are shaking up the status quo and pushing the boundaries of Sri Lankan music. ”

A music video featuring Hirushi Jayasena released last year had drawn 8.5 million views so far.

“I am both humbled and delighted to be able to release this project on a day that celebrates and recognises women,” Rodrigo was quoted as saying in the statement.

“It is remarkably difficult to break into the Sri Lankan music industry and even more difficult to make it far as a female artist.”

Soundarie David Rodrigo is an award-winning music and choral director, pianist, music educationalist, and now composer who completed her musical career at Royal College of Music in London.

She is the Founder and Music Director of Soul Sounds’, an all female choir which with international performances and ‘Soul Sounds Academy’.

As a soloist, Soundarie has performed both locally and internationally and has also collaborated with others.

She is the Sri Lankan Representative on the Council for Musica Mundi, and is a jury member at international choral competitions.

Soundarie is a lawyer with a masters’ in law in Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law from the University of California, Berkeley.

She was the Deputy Director at the SAARC Cultural Centre from its inception to 2016. (Colombo/Mar07/2021)

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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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