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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka opposition MP prohibited from protesting to seek redress in higher court

ECONOMYNEXT – A restraining order issued against Sri Lanka’s opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam preventing him from taking part in anti-government protests for two weeks was not vacated fully on Friday (29) and the party will therefore file an application in a higher court, TNA MP and lawyer M A Sumanthiran said.

Local police in the Eastern district of Batticaloa obtained the court order preventing Rasamanickam and his associates taking part of any protest within the district for 14 days. Protests have erupted across Sri Lanka against the government’s mishandling of Sri Lanka’s worsening economic crisis, and the Batticaloa district MP has been at the forefront of some of the protests.

According to Sumanthiran, the order was issued on the assumption that a protest organised in the area would cause road blocks and lead to private and public property being damaged.

Speaking to reporters Friday afternoon, Sumanthiran said Rasamanickam appeared in court on Friday to have the restraining order vacated on the basis that the police information it was based on was false.

“In fact, the police who replied to me confirmed that it was the Pradeshiya Sabha members who had organised the event and that it was done very peacefully,” he said.


Sri Lanka opposition MP prohibited from protests for 14 days


Rasamanickam had received a prohibition against staging and being involved in antigovernment protests, which was also applicable to individuals affiliated with the MP, for a period of two weeks.

Sumanthiran told reporters that the magistrate did not vacate the order fully but merely amended it to say that if an event was organised by the MP, it should not take place. The order is valid for 14 days.

“We are dissatisfied with this order today, so we will make an application for revision in the higher court,” he said.

Sri Lanka is undergoing its worst economic crisis, which has led to shortages of essential items such as gas, fuel, medicine and food essentials, which is the prime reason citizens are fuming and calling for the government to step down. Protests have erupted island wide demanding the president’s resignation.

TNA members have said t is unfair to restrict them as the agitation felt by the people is common.

“We think that it is wrong and we will move to higher courts to have this order vacated,” Sumanthiran reiteared. (Colombo/Apr29/2022)

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Sri Lanka bond yields down at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were down at close following a bond auction on Wednesday, dealers said while a guidance peg for interbank transactions remained unchanged.

“The rates were steady at the auction,” a dealer said.

“This can be a signal to the market saying the rates will go down in the future.”

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed at 32.40/60 percent, down from yesterday’s 32.60/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2027 closed at 29.10/35 marginally down from yesterday’s 29.20/75 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions remained unchanged at 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 371.38 rupees on Friday, data showed. (Colombo/Feb 01/2022)

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Sri Lanka bill auction hits pothole after 2025 bond spike

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sold only 45 billion rupees in Treasury bills at Wednesday’s auction after offering 120 billion rupees, data from the state debt office showed, amid market confusion over a spike in a two year bond at an earlier action.

30.1 billion rupees of 3-month bills were sold at 29.91 percent, unchanged from a week earlier after offering 60 billion rupees for auction.

5.1 billion rupees of 6-month bills were sold at 28.72 percent, flat after offering 30 billion.

10.3 billion rupees of 12-month bills were sold at 27.72 percent after offering 30 billion.

Phase II subscriptions have been opened.

The market was foxed after the 2025 bonds were accepted at sharply higher yield than market on January 30, dealer said.

There was further confusion as the there was an outright purchase of 2025 at around 29 percent earlier in January.

Some investors speculated that the authorities were trying to drive more buyers towards short end bonds as bill volumes were getting larger. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)

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Sri Lanka services exports down 5.9-pct in 2022

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s services exports were estimated to have fallen 5.9 percent to 1,876.3 million US dollars, the island’s Export Development Board said.

Services exports estimated is made up of ICT/BPM, construction, financial services, transport and logistics.

There are more than 500 ICT companies, the EDB said.

Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports were up 4.6 percent to US dollars 13.1 billion dollars in 2022 from 2021.

Sri Lanka’s goods exports are slowing amid lower growth in Western markets. (Colombo/ Feb 01/2023)

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