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Thursday June 20th, 2024

Sri Lanka customs seize 206 star tortoises

ECOMNOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka has seized 206 star tortoises at the country’s main airport while they were being smuggled to Malaysia, the authority said.

“Tortoises were packed in 6 Styrofoam boxes labelled as ‘Dried Sea Foods’ and were planned to smuggle out to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) by flight AK046,” Sri Lanka Customs said in a statement.

Export of Star Tortoises or any mammal or reptile without permission is an offence under Fauna and Flora Protection act, Customs said

“According to the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (Section 40), attempt to export any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, coral or invertebrate, eggs, feathers, or plumage of any bird, the horns, antlers, skin or hide of any mammal or reptile or any part of any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, coral or invertebrate without the permission of the Director General of Wildlife Conservation Department is an offence and also simultaneously violates the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235),” the statement said.

“Sri Lankan Star Tortoises is the same species (Geochelone elegans) as that found in India and Pakistan but has a specific geographic identity,

“They have been highly sought after in the illegal pet trade, especially in the South East Asian countries.”

Due to mass trafficking the species has become threatened with extinction and is included in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of species and also in Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the statement said.

According to Customs, the retail value of the species ranges between 930 to 4000 US dollars or around 347,000- 1.4 million rupees.

The seizure was done based on intelligence by the Biodiversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection Division. (Colombo/ Feb 12/2023)

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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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