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Sunday December 4th, 2022

Sri Lanka govt leaders criticized over Facebook frame with national flag 

#GoHomeGota protest in front of Sri Lanka’s Presidential Secretariat

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government politicians who have been asked to resign are under fire from frustrated protesters on social media after close allies of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa added the national flag on their Facebook profile frame.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has now turned into a political crisis after a March 31 protest turned violent near President Rajapaksa’s private residence followed by people defying his curfew order despite State of Emergency and social media ban.

In solidarity with protests against the government for its economic mismanagement, thousands of Sri Lankans added a Facebook frame to their profile picture with the national flag.

On April 6, a sleuth of government ministers including the President and the Prime Ministers have added the frame to their Facebook profiles too.

This frame has also been a significant association with the protest slogan #GoHomeGota, a slogan made popular on social media platforms before the protests grew on a mass scale on March 31.

Protests have spread across the country and political analysts say the agitations are intensifying.

Sri Lankan Facebook users responded negatively to Rajapaksa and his close allies’ move to include the national frame.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the most popular leader Sri Lanka has ever had, got over 15,000 laugh reactions and 7,700 angry reactions to his picture with many commenting “Rest in Peace”.

His son Namal Rajapaksa, the country’s Sports, Youth and Digital technology minister was cursed for ruining and looting the country.

A comment from Raveesha Sathsarani said, “This is our national flag!!!. Don’t steal even it and save it for us. They have taken people’s pain and hard work as a joke. �� ��
#gohomerajapaksas #GotaGoHome2022 #GoHomeGota #SaveSriLanka.”

Dishan Rajarathnam in his comment said “We are fighting against the most corrupted family in SriLanka ������”

Manomi Jayawardena: “ජාතික කොඩියවත් ඉතුරු කලොත් නේද හොද….(Wouldn’t it be better to leave at least the national flag….)

Kasun Bandara Weerakoon: “Go when you are told to go…. And there are more… I’m done with you people….. There is no point in trying again……. The few who took advantage are struggling… But the majority of the country doesn’t like you….. Go away without any more sins…… It’s hard to live….. This is more than enough…… Don’s destroy our future any more…….”

(යන්ට කිව්වම පලයංකෝ….තවත් ඉන්නෙ…උබල මිනිසුන්ට එපාවෙලා ඉවරයි…..ආයෙ
දැගලුවට වැඩක් නෑ…….වාසිගත්ත ටික දෙනෙක් දගලයි…ඒත් උබලට රටේ බහුතරයක් කැමති
නෑ…..තවත් පවුනොදී පලයං……ජීවත් වෙන්න අමාරුයි…..මේ ඇති හොදටම……අපෙ අනාගතේ
තවත් විනාස කරන්න එපා……)

Keheliya Rambukewella, the former cabinet spokesperson too was flooded with similar comments. One commentator on Rambukwella’s profile said the people’s struggle has become a joke to them.

Ranjika Damayanthi, “මුන්ට විහිළුවක් වෙලා මිනිස්සු දුක් විදින එක ����������”

Although the country’s President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa too used the frame, he has restricted the comments on his profile yet over 33,000 had laugh reacted to the picture with 15,000 “angry” reactions.

In the ongoing protests in the past seven days, the President has been called a Pissek (mad man), a murderer and a gobbayā (a local slang for a useless person). (Colomb0/April 08/2022)

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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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