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Monday December 4th, 2023

Sri Lanka Justice Minister urge people not to send rogues as lawmaker

ECONOMYNEXT: Sri Lanka Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe has urged the general public to send more educated scholars to politics amid increasing displeasure over the conduct and policy making of the island nation’s politicians.

The displeasure over policy making has already forced tens of thousands of people to oust one of the most powerful government led by former leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa and ex-prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa through protests within two month space between May and July this year.

However, people are still grumbling about parliamentarians over corruption, high spending, wastage, and nepotism and say there has been no change in the governance system despite Rajapaksas are ousted.

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe anybody who has the help of black money can face elections whether he is a drug dealer or an underworld person.

“But there are scholars who has a pain about the country. However, under the current election structure, how can they be able to nominated as public representatives?” Rajapakshe told a press briefing on Friday (23).

The public should be mindful to send educated parliamentarians for politics rather than scolding politicians after they elect them from the elections, he said.

“Generally, the people in the country are bearing the perspective that any government officer or political leader steal a crore or two is not going to affect our economy.”

“Also the people think that it is okay for their party leaders to steal and they will always protect those so-called leaders. But then again if the opposite party steal, those people start rioting.”

The protest were originally started with an aim of changing Sri Lanka’s political and governance system. However, protesters say they are not happy about the current system despite ousting Rajapaksas because all corrupt politicians are still there in the parliament.

“After the protest we see an apparent change – a more independent view point without clinging to any party or colour,” he said.

The Ministry of Justice has presented the Campaign Finance Bill to the parliament. However, it has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

“This is a short act but the effects of it is extremely high. This Act can do a huge change in the social structure and will give a chance to the scholars to enter the parliament,” he said.

“Basically, the bill is about the money expenditure during the election time and the limit the money spends on election, which will promote the equality among the candidates. They are introducing a digitalize system for the new and the existing candidates to declare their assets.”(Colombo/Dec23/2022)

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  1. Eagle Eyes says:

    This is rich given the close association the minister has with many crooked business people, and the many allegations of corruption that are levelled against his own family

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  1. Eagle Eyes says:

    This is rich given the close association the minister has with many crooked business people, and the many allegations of corruption that are levelled against his own family

Sri Lanka stocks close up as some investor interest returns

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Monday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was up 0.22 percent, or 23.33 points, at 10,743.59.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.68 percent, or 20.60 points, at 3,067.73.

Turnover was at 708 million. The banks sector contributed 189 million, while the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 176 million of this.

Sri Lanka’s stock market has seen some investor interest return after last week’s news that the country had managed an agreement on a debt restructuring deal with an official creditor committee, and foreign funds for some development projects resumed.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were Sampath Bank Plc (up at 71.50), LOLC Holdings Plc (up at 379.00), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, (up at 90.90).

There was a net foreign outflow of 52 million.

Citrus Leisure Plc, which announced that its banquet hall and revolving restaurant at the Lotus Tower would launch on or around Dec 9, saw its share price rise to 6.20 rupees. (Colombo/Dec4/2023).

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Sri Lanka rupee closes broadly steady at 328.10/30 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 328.10/30 to the US dollar on Monday, from 328.00/10 on Friday, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.70/14.00 percent from 13.70/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.10 percent from 13.90/14.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/14.10 percent from 14.05/10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.20/35 percent from 14.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.25/45 percent, from 14.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.05/40 percent, from 14.00/45 percent. (Colombo/Dec4/2023)

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Gov minister highlights abortion rights, sex-ed for children, and Sri Lanka men killing their women

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s legislators have politicized the topics of rape and violence without addressing the elephant in the room, Jeevan Thondaman, Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development said in parliament on Monday (4).

“All the members here are talking about rape. What happens after that? We must talk about abortion rights. That is not something anyone wants to touch on, and that is why we are in this place right now,” Thondaman said.

“Despite alarming statistics on rape and violence, women are often blamed and punished for it. The criminalisation of abortion is a major example of this.”

Sri Lanka has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. According to a 2016 estimate by the Health Ministry, he said, approximately 658 abortions take place a day, and close to 250,000 a year.

“That’s 250,000 women whose lives you are endangering.”

He added that what was needed at this point in time was comprehensive sexual education (CSE) for children and young people.

“Only through CSE in schools will children and young people develop, accurate, age appropriate knowledge attitude and skills; positive values such as respect for human rights, gender equality, diversity and attitude and skills that contribute to a safe, healthy and positive relationship.”

Thondaman pointed out that CSE plays a pivotal role in preparing young people for a world where HIV, AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, and sexual and gender based violence still pose a risk to their well-being.

“CSE basically empowers children take control and make informed decisions freely and responsibly.”

Thondaman also highlighted the findings of a 2021 study (Fatalities_20211109_UNFPA) by the UNFPA and the University of Kelaniya that showed that a majority of women killed in Sri Lanka were murdered by those close to them.

“62 percent of homicides of Sri Lankan women are committed by either an intimate partner, ex-partner or family member. 84 percent are killed in their own homes by someone they know.”

Police and the judiciary have failed Sri Lanka’s women, the minister pointed out.

“Only 5 percent of these cases, between 2013-2017, were ever concluded. Men claim they were provoked, or are of unsound mind or have mental illness: These have been successful defenses. And the Police often express sympathy to this narrative as opposed to the victim’s.”

“We have a history of protecting oppressors.”

It takes 7-10 years for a child rape case to conclude, he pointed out.

Establishment of child courts are needed, he said, as well as several legislative amendments. “The government is working on a new law to reform the domestic violence act, reform of marriage and divorce laws to ensure there is an easier path to divorce: no one should be forced to remain in a marriage that is either abusive or not healthy.” (Colombo/Dec4/2023)

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