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Monday December 5th, 2022

Sri Lanka govt condemns attack on journalist as opposition cries foul

ECONOMYNEXT – The government of Sri Lanka on Tuesday (15) condemned the attack on the residence of journalist Chamuditha Samarawickrama days ahead of a critical UN human rights council session, though opposition politicians claim the attack was emblematic of an emerging culture of media suppression and violence with impunity.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet press briefing Tuesday morning, Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said the government unequivocally rejects the attack with unreserved disgust.

Samarawickarma’s residence was attacked around 2am Monday (14) by a group of four men who he said had thrown pots of faeces and rocks at house and garden. The freelance journalist, who has a wide following online and is considered a critical voice, said he also heard gunfire.

Related: Sri Lanka journalist’s residence attacked; says too early to pinpoint possible culprit

“The police is investigating the incident, and we urge the media to expose the attacker, this faeces lover,” said Alahapperuma.

“It is clear that this faces lover is someone with no voice for democracy and is hiding in a lavatory.”

“It is the stink of a festering group of society that is emanating from this attack,” the minister said.

Foreign Minister G L Peiris told reporters on Monday that an impartial inquiry will be carried out by the police and that the government will not intervene.

“The government will never intervene in incidents such as this. There is a proper mechanism for it, such as the police , the attorney general’s dept and the judiciary,” he said.

Meanwhile, the opposition has strongly criticised the government over the incident.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa in a statement on Monday said a free media is the fourth pillar of democracy and that the attack on Samarawickrama was a blow to democracy itself.

“There is no room in this country for terrorist witch hunts on the media. We request the president, the prime minister and the government to conduct an impartial investigation into this and bring everyone responsible before the law,” he said.

The opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuan (JVP) said in a statement that only a powerful, well-connected group could’ve forced their way into a gated community caring arms.

“It’s a very serious situation indeed that these incidents are taking place in a context of the government maintaining armed groups in the name of providing security,” the party said.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauf Hakeem told reporters: “It’s clear a group of trained people did this, on the watch of a government that brags about ensuring national security.”

Samarawickrama has been courting controversy with a series of explosive interviews published on his YouTube channel ‘Truth with Chamuditha’.

His latest videos include one with the leader of the Ape Janabala Pakshaya, who had levelled allegations against controversial Buddhist monk Galabadaththe Gnanasara thero. The monk now heads a task force appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa named ‘One Country, One Law’.

Another video interview with Chandimal Jayasinghe, the Sri Lankan franchise holder for the Mrs World pageant, had racked up over 350,000 views. In the video, Jayasinghe had made some remarks about Pushpika de Silva, who recently lost her Mrs Sri Lanka for Mrs World title, the culmination of a widely publicised scandal that erupted last year when her crown was forcibly taken off at the 2021 Mrs Sri Lanka pageant. (Colombo/Feb15/2022)

Comments (3)

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  1. William David Adams says:

    Chamuditha Samarawickrama,
    Sir I saw you article re Gammanpila suggesting the people have a choice apples pears etc. of fuel. When have the people ever had a choice. About 2009 at the supposed end of the war the then President slapped a tax on imported fruit to assist farmers here in producing such fruit. To this day I have never seen Sri Lankan Apples/Pears/Grapes or Orange coloured Oranges, but the tax of 25% or maybe 25 Rupees a kilo persists. Aside from that my wife is Manel Rosemary Lokuhetti Samarawaickrama we live in Mawittara and I wonder if you are related to her.

  2. william david adams says:

    Dear Chamuditha,
    I left a comment almost 4 hours ago. It would seem that comments are censored. So as to not upset the censors I just want to say this time that you and my wife may be connected/related. She is from Walasmulla and her name is Manel Rosemary Lokuhetti Samarawickrama. We live in Mawittara a half mile or so from Minister Gamini Lokuge. I seek your acquaintance to help with this matter and to discuss points you have raised online.
    Yours faithfully,
    W D Adams

  3. William David Adams says:

    dear chamuditha,
    what is the point/purpose of the comment box. where can i see other comments or is it all just a confidence trick to get names and addresses

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Comments (3)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. William David Adams says:

    Chamuditha Samarawickrama,
    Sir I saw you article re Gammanpila suggesting the people have a choice apples pears etc. of fuel. When have the people ever had a choice. About 2009 at the supposed end of the war the then President slapped a tax on imported fruit to assist farmers here in producing such fruit. To this day I have never seen Sri Lankan Apples/Pears/Grapes or Orange coloured Oranges, but the tax of 25% or maybe 25 Rupees a kilo persists. Aside from that my wife is Manel Rosemary Lokuhetti Samarawaickrama we live in Mawittara and I wonder if you are related to her.

  2. william david adams says:

    Dear Chamuditha,
    I left a comment almost 4 hours ago. It would seem that comments are censored. So as to not upset the censors I just want to say this time that you and my wife may be connected/related. She is from Walasmulla and her name is Manel Rosemary Lokuhetti Samarawickrama. We live in Mawittara a half mile or so from Minister Gamini Lokuge. I seek your acquaintance to help with this matter and to discuss points you have raised online.
    Yours faithfully,
    W D Adams

  3. William David Adams says:

    dear chamuditha,
    what is the point/purpose of the comment box. where can i see other comments or is it all just a confidence trick to get names and addresses

Paris Club proposes 10-year moratorium on Sri Lanka debt, 15 years of debt restructuring

ECONOMYNEXT — 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, India’s The Hindustan Times reported.

While the Paris Club has yet to formally reach out to India and China, Colombo has yet to initiate a formal dialogue with the Xi Jinping regime, the newspaper reported on Saturday December 03, inferring that the chances of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approving its 2.9 billion dollar extended fund facility for Sri Lanka in December now ranges from very low to nonexistent.

“This means that Sri Lanka will have to wait for the March IMF meeting of the IMF before any aid is extended by the Bretton Woods institution,” the newspaper reported.

“Fact is that for Sri Lanka to revive, creditors will have to take a huge hair cut with Paris Club clearly hinting that global south should also take the same cut as global north notwithstanding the inequitable distribution of wealth. In the meantime, as Colombo is still to get its act together and initiate a dialogue and debt reconciliation with China, it will need bridge funding to sustain the next three month before the IMF executive board meeting in March 2023. Clearly, things will get much worse for Sri Lanka before they get any better—both economically and politically,” the report said. (Colombo/Dec04/2022)

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Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea prices up amid low volumes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka tea prices picked up at the last auction in November amid low volumes, brokers said.

“Auction offerings continued to record a further decline and totalled 4.2 million Kilograms, of which Ex-Estate offerings comprised of 0.6 million Kilograms. There was good demand,” Forbes and Walker Tea brokers said.

“In the Ex-Estate catalogues, overall quality of teas showed no appreciable change. Here again, there was good demand in the backdrop of extremely low volumes.”

High Growns

BOP Best Westerns were firm to 50 rupees per kg dearer. Below best and plainer types were Rs.50/- per kg easier on last.

Nuwara Eliya’s were firm.

BOPF Best Westerns were firm to selectively dearer. Below best and plainer teas declined by 50 rupees per kg.

Uva/Uda Pussellawas’ were generally firm and price variances were often reflective of quality with the exception of Select Best Uva BOPF’s which were firm and up to 50 rupees per kilogram dearer.

CTC teas, in general, were mostly firm.

“Most regular buyers were active, with perhaps a slightly more forceful trend from the local trade,” brokers said.

Corresponding OP1’s met with improved demand. Well-made OP/OPA’s in general were fully firm, whilst the Below Best varieties and poorer sorts met with improved demand. PEK/PEK1’s, in general, were fully firm to selectively dearer.

In the Tippy catalogues, well-made FBOP/FF1’s sold around last levels, whilst the cleaner Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom appreciated. Balance too were dearer to a lesser extent.

In the Premium catalogues, very Tippy teas continued to attract good demand. Best were firm to selectively dearer, whilst the Below Best and cleaner teas at the bottom appreciated

Low Growns

Low Growns comprised 1.8 million Kilograms. Market met with improved demand, in general.

In the Leafy & Semi Leafy catalogues, select Best BOP1/OP1’s were fully firm, whilst the Below Best/bolder BOP1’s were barely steady.

Low-grown teas, farmed mainly by smallholders and exported to the Middle East and Central Asia, are the most sought-after and expensive Ceylon Teas.

Low-grown CTC prices have gained this week to 982.80 per kilogram this week from 934.76 per kilogram last week.

Few Select best BOP1s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower. Poorer types maintained.

BOPF’s in general, firm market.

FBOPF/FBOPF1’s select best and best increased in value, whilst the below best and bottom held firm.

Selected best BOP1’s maintained, whilst best and below best were irregularly lower.Poorer types maintained.

OP1’s selects best together with best and below best were firm to dearer. Poorer sorts were fully firm.

Medium Growns

BOPF’s, select best gained by 50 rupees per kilogram. Others maintained.

BOP1’s select best dearer by 100 rupees per kg whilst all others moved up by 50 rupees per kg.

OP1: select best gained by 100 rupees per kg whilst all others dearer by 100 rupees per kg.

OP/OPA’s in general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg whilst the poorer sorts were firm.

PEK’s Select best gained by 50 rupees per kg whilst all others maintained. PEK1: In general, dearer by 50 rupees per kg. (Colombo/Dec 04/2022)

 

 

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Sri Lanka Ports Authority East Terminal contractor paid: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ports Authority had paid a deposit for a gantry crane and made the required payment for the contractor to complete building the East Container Terminal, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said.

The East Container Terminal, a part of which is already built is being completed as a fully SLPA owned terminal at a cost of 480 million dollars Ports and Shipping Minister de Silva said.

“ECT we are funding with money available in the ports authority,” he said.

“Up to now we have paid an advance for the gantry crane. And for the construction we have paid all the money agreed with the contractor. So that is going on well.”

Sri Lanka is undergoing the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s soft-pegged (flexible exchange rate) central bank which has created difficulties in funding the project.

“Every penny we collect as dollars we are keeping them separately and utilizing that for the Eastern Terminal work,” Minister de Silva said.

“We are confident that the ECT will be completed within the envisaged time. It is a difficult task in view of the dollar problem.

Banks were also not releasing the dollar deposits of the SLPA earlier but are now doing so, he said.

“Our deposits in banks they have utilized for urgent other national purposes,” he said.

“So they are releasing that money slowly. I am happy that they are releasing that money little by little. So with that we will be able to manage that.”

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