An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday December 5th, 2023

Sri Lanka closes all schools amid pandemic resurgence

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will close down all schools, preschools and piriven (monastic schools) in the island till April 30 starting today to contain the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Prof G L Peiris said.

The minister told reporters today that all decisions with regard to school activities will be taken prioritising the health and safety of school children.

Sri Lanka has seen a surge in daily COVID-19 cases following the Sinhala & Tamil New Year holidays, with authorities fearing a newer, more virulent strain that is said to be affecting younger people.

“This weekend we will have a meeting with health authorities, regional education directors and school principals to decide on the course of action for next week, after May 03,” he said.

Meanwhile health authorities isolated two more Grama Niladhari divisions today, bringing total isolated areas since April 21 to 12.

Siriketha in Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa and Pallekumburan in Ukuwela, Matale were isolated from 6.30am today.

Other isolated Grama Niladhari divisions are Polhena, Heeralugedara, Kaluaggala in Kotadeniya, Gampaha, Aswennawaththa East in Minuwangoda, Gampaha, Pelawaththa North and East in Megahatenna, Kalutara, Pupuhar in Trincomalee, Kuliyapitiya, Thittawelgama Niraviya and Nikadalupotha in Kurunegala, Adhikarigoda in Kalutara, and Imbulagoda and Katudampe in Galle.

However, broadcast media reports showed residents in isolated areas moving to other districts and non-isolated areas following yesterday’s declaration. Footage showed no security personnel on duty to stop the residents from moving to other areas.

Police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said 108 people were arrested yesterday for not following quarantine laws, not maintaining physical distance and not wearing facemasks.

“From October 30 till now we have arrested around 3,755, of whom 3,650 have been produced in court,” Rohana told reporters.

“Most were from the Kalutara district,” he said.

Rohana said police will continue to supervise the general public.

“When you return to the workplace after a long weekend, follow the health guidelines. We ask management of all companies to monitor all employees and ensure guidelines are followed,” he said.

“Our aim is to stop the creation of sub clusters and to minimise the spread of the virus as much as possible,” he added. (Colombo/Apr27/2021)

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Sri Lanka finding ways to clear 1.1mn pending cases: Justice Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is taking a series of steps to speed up 1.1 million pending court cases and encourage alternative dispute solving mechanisms, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe said.

“The delay in court cases is a serious problem,” Minister Rajapakshe told a briefing at the President’s Media Centre.

“We have already taken several steps to expedite cases.”

There were 5,680 cases in Supreme Court, 4,054 in the Court of Appeal, 6,168 in the High Court of Civil Appeal, 8,363 in the Commercial High Court, 28,000 in the High Court, 254,000 in District Courts and 791,000 in Magistrates Courts.

In 2015, only 49 percent of complaints to mediation boards were resolved. Following reforms, the ratio has been increased to 70 percent.

The value of disputes going to mediation board has been raised to one million rupees from 500,000 rupees.

To solve land problems in the post-war period, special mediation boards on property was set up in the North and the East.

Mediation boards on property will be set up in another 16 districts.

Commercial High Courts were increased to four from three.

Another Commercial High Court will be set up in the future. The consideration of cases that can go to a High Court was raised from 4 million rupees to 10 million rupees.

A commercial dispute resolution law will be introduced next January.

A small claims court has been established.

Case involving disputes below 2 million rupees can be directed to small claims court.

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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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