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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka opposition MP prohibited from protests for 14 days

ECONOMYNEXT- A Sri Lankan opposition legislator has been prohibited from taking part in anti-government protests for a period of two weeks, a court ordered on Thursday (28) as protests in the crisis-hit island nation continued across the country demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

A local police in the Eastern district of Batticaloa obtained the court order preventing Shanakiyan Rasamanickam, a legislator from the opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and his associates taking part of any protest within the district for 14 days.

“Shanakiyan has been restrained from demonstrating against the government by a court order obtained by the Kaluwanchikudy Police,” TNA spokesman M A Sumanthiran tweeted. 

“Again (this) shows that law enforcement in the North and East is different from the rest of the country. Over to those who wonder why North and East is reacting differently now,” he said referring to a government criticism. 

Rasamanickam said it was unfair to prevent only him and his associates from protesting where as the people in the entire country has been involved in protest after President Rajapaksa’s mismanagement has led the island nation into an economic crisis.

The crisis has already deprived people of essentials like fuel, medicines, cooking gas, and milk powder amid extended power cuts.

Rasamanickam told EconomyNext: “Since it is only for the Batticaloa area, I am thinking of staging a protest in Ampara tomorrow,” he said referring to the adjoining district.

Rasamanickam has been a prominent figure at protest sites and is the only individual that has received an order against protesting.

He said that this would further create added stigma towards the government and provokes the protesters to continue with their agitation stronger as this is a restriction of the people’s freedom of expression. (Colombo/Apr28/2022)

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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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