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Monday December 5th, 2022

Sri Lanka extends curfew in Colombo, Gampaha, Puttalam to Tue, Coronavirus count 77

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is extending a curfew in the Colombo, Gamapaha and Puttalam districts Tuesday but rest of the areas will get break on Monday from 6.00 am till 2.00 the president’s office said as the Coronavirus count went up to 77 on Saturday.

Curfew on other areas will be re-imposed at 2.00 pm and will go on till Tuesday 0600 am.

A decision on what will happen after Tuesday would be announced later.

Related

Sri Lanka extends curfew in the North as Coronavirus count rises to 82

Wine stores have been ordered to be closed when the curfew is temporarily lifted. Police have warned stay indoors and not party with neigbhours.

Farmers would also be given permission to cultivate and harvest food.

Earlier today the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked officials to ensure that food and other essential commodities are released to the market without any shortage.

However Sri Lanka’s Consumer Affairs Authority slapped price controls on tinned fish generating a shortage of tinned fish as rich people grabbed them.

Commissioner of Co-operative Development and Registrar of Co-operative Societies Suvinda Singappuli has instructed the co-op stores to open when curfew is lifted over to provide essential commodities.

State-run Litro Gas is also making arrangements to distribute more gas, the Prime Minister’s office said.

On Saturday 05 new patients had been found, the state information office said.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s Derana Television, quoting an Anuradhapura hospital official said one person had died and three were injured following a riot at Anuradhapura after a suspected Coronavirus patient was taken off the prison earlier in the day.

The TV station showed visuals of a fire.

Sri Lanka has made an open appeal to any returnee who had entered the country through unofficial channels to come forward, promising that no legal action will be taken against them, as the country goes through its first full day of a lockdown-style curfew.

“We are not interested in whether they went out of the country or came back illegally,” Army Chief Shavendra Silva said in an interview with Sri Lanka’s NewsFirst television.

“Please come forward and register. No action will be taken. This is not a time for us to worry about immigration laws,” he said.

Deserted

Streets in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo were deserted in the first day of a country-wide curfew to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Police said the curfew was holding and less than a dozen persons had been arrested in Haputale, Badulla and a few other areas.

Sri Lanka slapped the lockdown-style curfew yesterday, as total cases topped 70 (72 by this afternoon) and a patient was admitted to a hospital on a heart complaint exposing other patients and contacts.

General Silva said 11,482 persons who were returnees or had contact with suspected persons were now under home quarantine, being visited by quarantine officials.

More than 2,700 were quarantined in 17 centres run by the military. Sri Lanka has also issued home quarantine guidelines. (Colombo/Mar21/2020 – Update II)

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Sri Lanka’s shares gain in mid market trade

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s shares edged up in mid day trade on Monday (05), continuing the positive run for seven straight sessions on news over a possible debt restructuring from Paris Club, analysts said.

All Share Price Index gained by 0.69% or 60.10 points to 8,829, while the most liquid shares gained by 0.96% or 26.59 points to 2,801.

“The market was pushed up over the news of a potential 10 year debt moratorium,” analysts said.

The Paris Club group of creditor nations has proposed a 10-year debt moratorium on Sri Lankan debt and 15 years of debt restructuring as a formula to resolve the island nation’s prevailing currency crisis. 

Related – Paris Club proposes 10-year moratorium in 15-year Sri Lanka debt re-structure: report

The market generated a revenue of 2.1 billion rupees.

Top gainers during 1130 hours were Expolanka, Browns Investment and LOLC.  (Colombo/Dec05/2022)

 

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Sri Lanka bond yields slightly down

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were slightly down at open on Monday while t- bills were inactive, dealers said.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions was at 363.18 rupees against the US dollar, appreciated from 363.19 rupees on Friday.

“Only one bond is being quoted today, and the rest remaining unquoted” a dealer said.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2026 quoted at 29.30/30.00 percent down from 29.50/75 percent at Friday’s close.(Colombo/ Dec 03/2022)

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Sri Lanka should prioritize RCEP , not small FTAs: economist

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka should make joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) a priority instead of trying to negotiate multiple smaller deals, an economist has said.

“We do not have the bandwidth in government and the technical resources to do multiple trade agreements,” Anushka Wijesinghe an economist who has been involved in trade told a business forum in Colombo.

“I think RCEP should be number one priority, rather than three or four tiny bilateral goods agreements.”

Sri Lanka is trying negotiate a free trade deal with China and expand an existing one with India.

Data show that Sri Lanka has been able to boost exports with FTAs.

Sri Lanka has high tariff protection which ultimately backfire.

Sri Lanka has protectionist business interests their profits from overpriced goods have had priority over ordinary consumers and overall economic efficiency that comes from free trade.

Sri Lanka also has monetary instability, which has worsened under flexible inflation targeting, with a series of currency crises coming in rapid successions.

Forex shortages from mis-targeted interest rates under flexible or discretionary monetary policies have discredited free trade and liberalization in general and strengthened the hands of economic nationalists, analysts say.

The country also has monetary instability, which makes life difficult not only for investors but all economic agents.

Over the past two decades Sri Lanka’s exports have not grown as much as competitors. (Colombo/Dec05/2022)

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