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Thursday July 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka opposition MP endorses president’s views on reform, calls for consensus

MP Harsha de Silva (l) with President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the tea party hosted in parliament after the president’s throne speech in 2022. Image credit: President’s Media

ECONOMYNEXT – Endorsing a view expressed by President Ranil Wickremesinghe that Sri Lanka must be developed into a hub of the Indo-Pacific region, main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP Dr Harsha de Silva called for a united, multi-party government to “work towards creating this new Sri Lanka.”

“[President Wickremesinghe] in inaugural address says [Sri Lanka] must be developed in to a modern export oriented competitive social market economy as a hub of the emerging Indo-Pacific economic domain. I agree  [100 percent],” de Silva tweeted on Wednesday August 03.

“We must come together; specifically an all or multi party government for a limited period of time to work towards creating this new [Sri Lanka] on a common minimum program. If so future generations would vindicate us,” he added.

Political analysts say the SJB’s response to President Wickremesinghe’s open invitation for an all-party government has been less than warm.

On Tuesday, SJB parliamentarian S M Marikkar said that the party will support an economic recovery programme that will see Sri Lanka put on the right path, but it has no desire to take up positions in the cabinet. The party does not wish to burden the public with a 40-minister strong cabinet, he claimed.

Related:

Sri Lanka ruling party calls for all-party govt; main opposition sceptical

SJB and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa writing to the President on Tuesday said the party accepts his invitation to discuss the proposed restoration of the 19th amendment to the constitution and parliamentary oversight committees.

President Wickremesinghe has written to all members of parliament, inviting them to join an all-party government to see Sri Lanka through what has become its worst economic crisis since Independence.

In his parliamentary speech on Wednesday, he expressed his belief that, before the end of the 21st century, the Indo Pacific region will be the most powerful economic domain in the world.

“In this context, the strategic geographical location of our country is extremely important. We should make best use of this favourable position. Bearing this in mind, our future corporate laws and policies should be formulated. A country cannot be sustained by taking loans, and therefore should reduce the borrowings to the extent possible. Therefore, I am joining with you hounorable MPs in compiling rules and regulations and policies that will allow our country to get maximum benefit from the Indian Ocean centric new economic power,” he said.

Wickremesinghe urged all parties to get rid of traditional thinking in striving to build the Sri Lankan nation.

Related:

Sri Lanka president cautions against nurturing loss-making SOEs, calls for reform

(Colombo/Aug03/2022)

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Sri Lanka to conduct threat assessments for presidential candidates

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has submitted a cabinet paper proposing security measures for presidential candidates and former presidents, following the recent attack on former US President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in the USA.

“This proposal suggests the appointment of a committee to conduct threat assessments and provide necessary security for Presidential candidates as well as former Presidents,” a statement from his media division said.

The committee will include the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security as Chair, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief of National Intelligence, and the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police/Elections.

A Deputy Inspector General of Police will be appointed to oversee all security arrangements.

The committee and the designated officer will work closely with the Election Commission to ensure seamless coordination of security arrangements, the PMD said.

After today, July 17, Sri Lanka’s Election Committee is empowered to announce a date for the presidential polls due to be held this year.

Minister of Foreign Affairs M U M Ali Sabry has said the election will be held on October 5 or 12.

Members of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) have said that the government should be accountable for the security of Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the SJB’s presidential candidate. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.80/304.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed almost flat at 303.80/304.00 to the US dollar on Wednesday, from 303.70/304.00 to the US dollar on Tuesday, dealers said, while bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.60/75 percent, down from 10.82/92 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.60/38 percent, down from 11.65/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.72/78 percent, down from 11.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.05/10 percent, down from 12.05/20 percent. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, John Keells, Hemas, Hayleys push turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Wednesday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.41 percent, or 48.44 points, at 11,830; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.52 percent, or 17.91 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was 1.2 million. A big part of this (Rs597mn) came from John Keells Holdings Plc (down at 194.25).

“There was foreign buying interest on John Keells and Hemas,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“We saw foreign interest in selective counters persist.”

Hemas Holdings Plc contributed Rs143mn to the turnover, and the share closed down at 81.10.

Hayleys Plc contributed Rs156mn to the turnover, and the share closed up at 101.50.

The three crossings made up 67 percent of the turnover.

The capital goods counters, with all the bluechips, was the leading sector contributing to the day’s turnover.

With the exception of Hayleys and a couple of other companies, the counter saw most stocks close down or flat.

Sentiment around the banking counters also remained negative.

“The volatility in investor sentiments persisted. There are a lot of spectators in the market over the last few weeks, despite some positive news coming in.”

Treasury bill and bond rates have also dropped.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Melstacorp Plc (up at 86.00), SMB Finance Plc (up at 0.70), and TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 40.00).

There was a net foreign inflow of 392 million. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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