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Monday April 15th, 2024

Sri Lanka May 09 violence: Report to be submitted to parliament soon

GotaGoGama, the makeshift agitation site, was attacked by government supporters by May 09, leading to retaliatory mob violence

ECONOMYNEXT – A report on the violence that rocked Sri Lanka on May 09, already handed over to President Ranil Wickremesinghe on September 08, will be submitted to the cabinet of ministers and to parliament soon, a government statement said.

The official government online news portal reported Tuesday September 27 morning that State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon had said that steps will be taken to “inform the cabinet and the parliament about it in the future”.

Tennakoon had made this announcement at the first meeting of Ministerial Consultative Committee on Defence which he chaired on September 23.

The committee comprises former Navy Commander Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karnagoda, former Air Force Commander Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Gunathilake and former Army Commander General Daya Rathnayake (retired). State Minister Tennakoon was quoted by as saying that “measures will be taken in the future” if any lapses were discovered to have been made by the security forces in connection with the incidents of violence on May 09.

Defence Ministry Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne (retired) has said at the meeting that the law will be strictly enforced against those involved and those who supported these violent incidents.

Sri Lanka made international headlines on May 09 after an unprovoked attack on peaceful anti-government protestors launched by supporters of then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa triggered a wave of retaliatory mob violence around the country. Houses and offices belonging to various government MPs were torched and several people were killed, including one MP.

Tennakoon said at a separate press briefing on Monday that protestors in Sri Lanka must obtain prior approval from the police six hours ahead of a demonstration.

He said no party or group can be allowed to act irresponsibly and break any law that exists to maintain the peace.

“The government acts with great responsibility in this regard,” he said.

Otherwise, he said, a “frightful anarchic” situation will be inevitable with a return to violence.


Sri Lanka’s protestors told to obtain police permission six hours ahead


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Sri Lanka to discuss two contentious points with bondholders: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka and sovereign bondholders are to discuss two matters in the near future which the two sides failed to reach agreement at March talks in London, a media report quoting a top aide to President Wickremesinghe as saying.

Sri Lanka and bondholders had discussed four matters on restructuring international sovereign bonds in late March and agreement had been reached on two, President’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake was quoted as saying on state-run ITN television.

A restructuring proposal by bondholders was not in line with IMF requirements, and Sri Lanka had sent a counter proposal, he said.

The matters will be discussed at round of talks in the near future.

Sri Lanka was optimistic of reaching an agreement with the bondholders before June, officials have said.

According to matters already in the public domain, sovereign bond holders are keen to get a bond tied to dollar gross domestic product, as they feel IMF growth projections are too low.

In past re-structuring so-called value recovery instruments, a type of warrant, gave their owners extra payments if a country did better than expected and were tied to items like oil prices.

Bondholders had initially proposed bond which would have a lower hair cut initially, and it will have additional hair cuts if growth is low (about 3.1 percent) as projected in an IMF debt sustainability analysis. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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BIMSTEC Secretary General visits Sri Lanka, discusses regional cooperation

ECONOMYNEXT – The Secretary General of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), discussed measures to enhance regional cooperation, during his visit to the island last week.

Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Secretary General of BIMSTEC visited Sri Lanka from 07 – 12 April 2024, following his assumption of office as Secretary General of BIMSTEC in January this year.

The Secretary General “met with senior officials of relevant Ministries/Agencies to discuss measures to enhance regional cooperation under various BIMSTEC initiatives,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Several BIMSTEC countries have bilateral trade agreements, such as Sri Lanka and India, Thailand and Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, but no collective regional agreement to enable intra-regional leverage.

During the visit, Secretary General Pandey held discussions with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and paid courtesy calls on the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Secretary General Pandey participated at an event on “Regional Cooperation through BIMSTEC” organized by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute (LKI) on 9 April. (Colombo/April15/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker at 299.00/10 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 299.00/10 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Monday, from 298.50/55 on Wednesday, dealers said, while bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed stable at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent up from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed stable at 12.20/40 percent. (Colombo/Apr15/2024)

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