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Tuesday June 25th, 2024

Sri Lanka considers to legalize homosexuality – PMD

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in discussions to legalize homosexuality by repealing a 140-year old penal code, the President Media Division (PMD) said, as the law has become a human rights concern mainly by the island nation’s Western trading partners.

Officials have said the European Union has demanded to address the human rights issues faced by sexual minority groups including homosexuals. However, the country of 22 million with Buddhist majority has not changed its constitution to recognize sexual minorities in Sri Lanka.

“Homosexuality is an offense under the Penal Code,” the PMD said quoting President Ranil Wickremesinghe during a discussion with Harvard University on March 24,2023.

“However, it has never been enforced for the last five decades to my knowledge,” he said.

“Certainly, the government will or will not enforce that law, but a group of parliamentarians are discussing this and will most probably take action to repeal this provision.”

Sri Lanka’s Penal Code prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and “gross indecency between persons”, which rights groups including Human Rights Watch (HRW) have said is “commonly understood in Sri Lanka to criminalise same-sex relations between consenting adults, including in private spaces.”

Human Rights Watch has documented that other laws, including a vaguely worded Vagrancy Law and a penal code provision banning “cheating by personation,” are also used to target transgender and gender non-conforming people for arrest.

Also the report has documented the various abuses such as forced anal examinations that are often used by the authorities in their prosecution of homosexuals.

A Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus – a lucrative trade concession worth over 500 million US dollars that has boosted Sri Lanka’s exports to EU member states – is at a stake as the island nation has failed to implement some of the 27 international conventions including addressing the rights of minorities requested by the EU in return for the GSP plus.

Sri Lanka lost access to GSP Plus in 2010 due to alleged human rights violations but regained it in 2016 after pledging to implement the international conventions. However, rights groups have asked the EU to consider the rights violations in the country when renewing the trade concession.

The bloc has warned that the concession could be withdrawn if the island nation fails to implement a few key demands including the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the release of long detained suspects under the PTA. (Colombo/ March31/2023)

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  1. sacre blieu says:

    The beginning of the era here of, Sodom And Gomorrah, to be the foremost of a new culture.

  2. sacre blieu says:

    Those with unnatural desires should be treated and not be a menace nor given the freedom. They re not differently able people, but differently performing ones with base desire.

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  1. sacre blieu says:

    The beginning of the era here of, Sodom And Gomorrah, to be the foremost of a new culture.

  2. sacre blieu says:

    Those with unnatural desires should be treated and not be a menace nor given the freedom. They re not differently able people, but differently performing ones with base desire.

Sri Lanka to sign Paris Club debt deals as fresh ISB talks to also start

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will sign agreements on restructured debt with Paris Club creditors Wednesday, Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana said as sources said talks with private creditors are also due to start later in the week.

The relevant senior officials and State Minister Shehan Semasinghe has already left the country to sign the agreements, Minister Gunawardana said.

Sri Lanka has held detailed negotiations with bilateral creditors ever since a sovereign default in 2022 and President Ranil Wickremesinghe has personally met leaders of friendly countries to expedite the restructuring, he said.

The finalizing of the restructure was a ‘great victory’ for Sri Lanka he said.

Details will be revealed to parliament by President Wickremesinghe and an address to the nation on Wednesday he said.

Discussion with private bondholders are also taking place separately, he said.

Face to face talks with bond holders are likely to start Thursday, sources said.

Investors in a steering committee representing key bondholders have halted trading and are in a ‘restricted’ period Bloomberg Newswires reported.

Sri Lanka is attempting to restructure 12.5 billion dollars of sovereign bonds and about 1.7 billion dollars of past due interest following the declaration of an external default in 2022.

Private investors are seeking some so-called macro-linked bonds whose final haircut is linked to dollar GDP as well as some standard or ‘plain vanilla’ bonds with an upfront haircut.

The style of bonds have not been used in sovereign restructurings before. In the latest round of talks more plain vanilla bonds may be discussed, sources aware of the thinking of some bond investors said.

The ISB holders have proposed a 28 percent haircut and a 1.8 percent consent fee. The macro-linked bonds would have principle re-stated up to 92 percent of the original depending on the evolution of gross domestic product.

Sri Lanka is restructuring debt using an IMF debt sustainability model applied to middle income countries with market access as opposed to debt sustainability model used in countries like Ghana applicable to low income countries requiring deeper haircuts on both domestic and foreign debt.

Hair cuts may also depend on the maturity of bonds and the coupon interest.

Ghana has higher levels of commercial debt having started to access capital markets from around 2007.

Ghana also has a bad central bank like Sri Lanka and has gone to the International Monetary Fund 18 times.

The country is also operating flexible inflation targeting (inflation targeting without a clean float), which critics say is the latest spurious monetary regime peddled to hapless unstable countries without a doctrinal foundation in sound money.

Having done broad domestic debt restructuring as well as continued currency volatility both interest rates and inflation remains above 20 percent.

Ghana’s central bank has a worse monetary anchor (8 percent inflation plus 2 percent) compared to 5 percent plus two in Sri Lanka and runs into currency trouble despite being an oil producer like Iran, Venezuela and neighboring Nigeria.

Nigeria has an inflation target of 6-9 percent but ends up with around 20 plus inflation and currency trouble.

Sri Lanka has undershot its inflation target since reaching monetary stability in September 2022 and has appreciated the currency, amid deflationary policy giving a strong foundation for economic activity to resume. (Colombo/June26/2024)

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Sri Lanka to seek investors for 200MW BOOT power plant

EONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet has given approval to seek investors for a 200 MegaWatt independent power plant on a build-own-operate-and-transfer (BOOT) basis, a government statement said.

The internal combustion power plant will be capable of running on natural gas and is part of the Long-Term Generation Expansion of state-run Ceylon Electricity Board.

The investor will get as 20-year power purchase agreement.

Land next to the ‘Sobhadanavi’ combined cycle plant will be made available for the developer.

According to the generation plan, the 200MW IC plant is expected to come on stream by 2026.

In 2026, a 115 MW gas turbine, a CEB owned diesel plants of 68 MW and 72 MW are due to be retired. (Colombo/June25/2026)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes steady at 305.25/35 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed fairly flat at 305.25/35 to the US dollar on Tuesday, down from 305.20/30 to the US dollar on Monday, dealers said, while bond yields up.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2026 closed at 10.75/11.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.65/11.05 percent, up from 10.45/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 10.65/11.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.03.2028 closed at 11.20/11.50 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.10/15 percent, up from 12.05/17 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.10/20 percent, up from 12.08/15 percent.
(Colombo/Jun25/2024)

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