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Tuesday December 5th, 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 finding ways to clear 1.1mn pending cases: Justice Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is taking a series of steps to speed up 1.1 million pending court cases and encourage alternative dispute solving mechanisms, Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe said.

“The delay in court cases is a serious problem,” Minister Rajapakshe told a briefing at the President’s Media Centre.

“We have already taken several steps to expedite cases.”

There were 5,680 cases in Supreme Court, 4,054 in the Court of Appeal, 6,168 in the High Court of Civil Appeal, 8,363 in the Commercial High Court, 28,000 in the High Court, 254,000 in District Courts and 791,000 in Magistrates Courts.

In 2015, only 49 percent of complaints to mediation boards were resolved. Following reforms, the ratio has been increased to 70 percent.

The value of disputes going to mediation board has been raised to one million rupees from 500,000 rupees.

To solve land problems in the post-war period, special mediation boards on property was set up in the North and the East.

Mediation boards on property will be set up in another 16 districts.

Commercial High Courts were increased to four from three.

Another Commercial High Court will be set up in the future. The consideration of cases that can go to a High Court was raised from 4 million rupees to 10 million rupees.

A commercial dispute resolution law will be introduced next January.

A small claims court has been established.

Case involving disputes below 2 million rupees can be directed to small claims court.

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Sri Lanka stocks close up as some investor interest returns

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Monday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was up 0.22 percent, or 23.33 points, at 10,743.59.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.68 percent, or 20.60 points, at 3,067.73.

Turnover was at 708 million. The banks sector contributed 189 million, while the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 176 million of this.

Sri Lanka’s stock market has seen some investor interest return after last week’s news that the country had managed an agreement on a debt restructuring deal with an official creditor committee, and foreign funds for some development projects resumed.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were Sampath Bank Plc (up at 71.50), LOLC Holdings Plc (up at 379.00), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, (up at 90.90).

There was a net foreign outflow of 52 million.

Citrus Leisure Plc, which announced that its banquet hall and revolving restaurant at the Lotus Tower would launch on or around Dec 9, saw its share price rise to 6.20 rupees. (Colombo/Dec4/2023).

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Sri Lanka rupee closes broadly steady at 328.10/30 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 328.10/30 to the US dollar on Monday, from 328.00/10 on Friday, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.70/14.00 percent from 13.70/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.10 percent from 13.90/14.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/14.10 percent from 14.05/10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.20/35 percent from 14.15/25 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.25/45 percent, from 14.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.05/40 percent, from 14.00/45 percent. (Colombo/Dec4/2023)

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