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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Sri Lanka police shake up after mob violence

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s police is set to remove political appointees in key positions and replace them with competent officers in a major shake-up after the latest mob violence, officials said.

Monday’s riots left at least 60 homes of top ruling party politicians destroyed in arson attacks despite a heavy police deployment for static guard duties, police said.

Former ministers of the SLPP party pitched into Inspector-General C. D. Wickramaratne at a closed-door meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s Palace in Colombo on Saturday, but the angry politicians were hoist with their own petard.

An unfazed Wickramaratne told the legislators, many of whom had lost their homes and SUVs, that their interference in filling key positions earlier had led to a virtual breakdown in discipline and the effectiveness of the chain of command.

He reminded them that officers in charge who had been transferred due to “adverse reports” were promptly restored to their positions after they lobbied local politicians.

Most OIC’s were taking orders from their patron politicians rather than from immediate superiors in the police. Their incompetence and lack of respect from officers under them had resulted in the breakdown of law and order on Monday and Tuesday.

Former plantation minister Ramesh Pathirana had wanted his nominee to be in charge of the Galle division despite repeated warnings from police headquarters that he would be a disaster. Another former minister Rohitha Abeygunawardene wanted his man in Panadura.

Both politicians lost their homes in the riots that followed the unprovoked violence SLPP supporters unleashed on the peaceful anti-government demonstrators outside Temple Trees and Galle Face on Monday.

In contrast, former state minister Geetha Kumarasinghe’s home in Elpitiya was saved thanks to the officer in charge of the division who had been appointed without political influence.

Police headquarters is set to overhaul the structure of officers in charge of stations in line with a report the IGP made three months ago warning of an impending disaster due to local politicians having a say in crucial appointments.

Meanwhile, some 230 people have been arrested in connection with the arson attacks, police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa announced Sunday. (COLOMBO/May15/2022)

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Sri Lanka coconut prices ease at auction

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s coconut auction prices fell in the last auction in January 2023, with average prices going down by 4.1 percent at an auction on January 26, data showed.

The average price for 1,000 nuts fell to 80.811.89 from 84,116.85 a week earlier at the weekly auction conducted by Sri Lanka’s Coconut Development Authority.

The highest price was 87,300 rupees for 1,000 nuts down from the previous week’s 90,200 rupees, while the lowest was 72,500 down from 73,000 rupees.

The auction offered 469,564 coconuts and 300,983 nuts were sold. (Colombo/ Feb 01/2023)

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Sri Lanka shares edge up at close

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s shares edged up on Wednesday pushed as investors bought in to beaten down shares following the previous session’s drop, market analyst said.“

At this price level what we are seeing is a lot of confidence from the investors to collect when the prices drop. So, the market is not falling sharply,” a market analyst said.

Market had also seen buying in Expolanka shares on speculation that the parent company of SG Holdings was buying back into the shares.

All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged up by 0.96 percent or 84.96 points to 8,950.01.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 gained 1.27 percent or 35.02 points to 2,799.53.

Banking and Insurance counters had seen interest on the back of positive sentiments from the IMF.

The central bank has said it could cut interest rates in future when the the country sees fall in inflation, which has already started decelerating.

The market saw a turnover of 1.5 billion rupees today,lower than the month’s daily average of 1.8 billion rupees and nearly half of 2022 average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a flow of net foreign inflow of 45 million rupees extending the net offshore buying to 1.9 billion so far this year.

Top gainers of the day were Commercial Bank, Expolanka, and Ceylinco Insurance. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)






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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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