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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka defence establishment monitoring protests for acts of violence: official

NO ROOM FOR CORRUPTION IN PRISONS – Defense Secretary Kamal Guneratne warns Prison officials of consequences if criminals are mollycoddled/Defense Ministry handout

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s defence establishment is monitoring the wave of protests that has erupted around the country and, while it recognises the people’s democratic right to peaceful protest, action will be taken against anyone unleashing violence, an official said.

Defence Ministry Secretary Gen Kamal Gunaratne in a video statement released Tuesday (05) afternoon said two district groups have been found to be organising the ongoing spate of protests.

One, he said, were peaceful protestors exercising their democratic right, while the other is intent on damaging public and private property due to various motives.

“The other group is deliberately causing damage to state property and the private property of various parties, and insolvencies the public on main roads and in public spaces and engages in violent protests,” he said.

Legal action will be taken against such violent elements, said Gunaratne.

Ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MPs Roshan Ranasinghe in a seemingly impassioned speech in parliament on Tuesday lamented an attack on his residence in Polonnaruwa that had reportedly occurred Monday night. Other government MPs including Kanchana Wijesekara and Rohitha Abeygunawardena complained of protestors gathering outside their residences.

Thousands of Sri Lankans have taken to the streets since last Thursday (31) demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government over their handling of the country’s worsening economic crisis. The protest outside President Rajapaksa’s private residence last Thursday saw the most violence so far, with some government vehicles including a police bus that was torched by as yet unidentified protestors.

The government has blamed the violence on radical “extremists” affiliated with opposition parties, though the opposition claims the protests have been organic and spontaneous so far with little or no participation by mainstream political parties.

Some protestors, claimed Gunaratne in his statement, had on Monday (04) ridden motorbikes to residences and businesses and thrown rocks and petrol bombs at them, while others have engaged in robberies, including houses left empty by peaceful protestors.

“Government forces, the defence ministry and the public security ministry are constantly monitoring these protests. We have no problem with democratic, peaceful protests. But I must note that we have to act to prevent any violence,” he said.

“The security forces and police won’t hesitate to take legal action against such parties,” he added.

“As defence secretary, I ask the people to protest peacefully if they wish to, but not to damage public or private property, and not to be fooled by those with vested interest who [try to instigate violence].” (Colombo/Apr05/2022)

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  1. Leo says:

    When people gets hungry , violence could be more and more brutal.

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  1. Leo says:

    When people gets hungry , violence could be more and more brutal.

Sri Lanka bond yields down at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were down at close following a bond auction on Wednesday, dealers said while a guidance peg for interbank transactions remained unchanged.

“The rates were steady at the auction,” a dealer said.

“This can be a signal to the market saying the rates will go down in the future.”

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed at 32.40/60 percent, down from yesterday’s 32.60/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2027 closed at 29.10/35 marginally down from yesterday’s 29.20/75 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions remained unchanged at 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 371.38 rupees on Friday, data showed. (Colombo/Feb 01/2022)

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Sri Lanka bill auction hits pothole after 2025 bond spike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sold only 45 billion rupees in Treasury bills at Wednesday’s auction after offering 120 billion rupees, data from the state debt office showed, amid market confusion over a spike in a two year bond at an earlier action.

30.1 billion rupees of 3-month bills were sold at 29.91 percent, unchanged from a week earlier after offering 60 billion rupees for auction.

5.1 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold at 28.72 percent, flat after offering 30 billion.

10.3 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold at 27.72 percent after offering 30 billion.

Phase II subscriptions have been opened.

The market was foxed after the 2025 bonds were accepted at sharply higher yield than market on January 30, dealer said.

There was further confusion as the there was an outright purchase of 2025 at around 29 percent earlier in January.

Some investors speculated that the authorities were trying to drive more buyers towards short end bonds as bill volumes were getting larger. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)

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Sri Lanka services exports down 5.9-pct in 2022

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s services exports were estimated to have fallen 5.9 percent to 1,876.3 million US dollars, the island’s Export Development Board said.

Services exports estimated is made up of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services, transport and logistics.

There are more than 500 ICT companies, the EDB said.

Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports were up 4.6 percent to US dollars 13.1 billion dollars in 2022 from 2021.

Sri Lanka’s goods exports are slowing amid lower growth in Western markets. (Colombo/ Feb 01/2023)

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