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Thursday July 18th, 2024

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 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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