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Wednesday September 27th, 2023

Sri Lanka police to investigate cops who stopped masked, armed riders at protest site

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s police chief has promised the commander of the army a probe into an incident involving police officers on duty at a protest site in Colombo who had reportedly questioned a group of masked and armed men that had arrived on unregistered motorbikes.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) C D Wickramaratne has informed Army Commander Shavendra Silva that an investigation will be held on the incident, the police media division said on Wednesday (06).

A video circulating on social media showed at least eight armed riders with their faces concealed riding four black motorbikes with no visible license plates to a protest near parliament Tuesday (5) afternoon.

Footage showed protestors react angrily to the arrival of the masked men, with some overheard jeering and hooting at them. The video also showed two police officers questioning the bikers.

The video further shows police officers trying to apprehend the suspicious biker squad. However, the masked group is seen fleeing the scene after the police officers attempted to question their identity.

A wave of protests have erupted in Sri Lanka since last Thursday (31) demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government for their handling of one of the worst economic crises in the country’s history. The first protest held last Thursday near Rajapaksa’s private residence turned violent leading to a confrontation between police and protestors. The government has blamed the isolated incidents of violence on radical “extremists” with affiliations to opposition parties who have infiltrated the otherwise peaceful public protests.


Sri Lanka defence establishment monitoring protests for acts of violence: official

Issuing a statement regarding the incident, Director of Media, Army, Brigadier Nilantha Premarathne said Army Commander Gen Shavendra Silva has asked the IGP to take disciplinary action against the police officers who, according to the statement, had “interrupted” the duty of the Army bikes squad.

“When four motorcycles belonging to the Sri Lanka Army motorcycle team approached the roadblock near the parliament complex, two police officers on duty at the roadblock misbehaved with the members of the motorcycle crew,” Premarathne said.

“A request has been made to the IGP to conduct an immediate investigation and take disciplinary action.”

Premarathne said, responding to the incident, the IGP has informed the Army Commander that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

Defence Ministry Secretary Gen Kamal Gunarathne has also instructed the IGP and the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security to take immediate action regarding the incident. (Colombo/Apr06/2022)

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Sri Lanka to introduce social security system: minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Labour minister has said that they are set to introduce a comprehensive national social security system, covering all workers.

“The system will address the weaknesses of the current system and provide much-needed support to workers and their families,” Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment said on X (formerly known as Twitter).
He did not specify the details.

Nanayakkara also spoke of the need for robust social security when he met with exporters last week to discuss labor law reforms, boosting female workforce participation and attracting FDI.

Sri Lanka plans to reform labour laws for an export-oriented economy.

The pandemic and the economic crisis highlighted the need to improve the coverage of social security.

Studies have shown that Sri Lanka’s women are kept out of formal employment by childcare, elderly care and housework, as day care and elderly homes are either too expensive or too few.

The government imposed a Social Security Contribution Levy to increase its revenue last year. (Colombo/Sep27/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s stocks up in trading on Wednesday morning

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka shares were picking up in trading on Wednesday morning.

Turnover was at 50 million. Trading in the Capital Goods Industry Group was driving turnover.

The All Share Price Index was up 0.37 percent or 41.78 points to 11,289.94, while the S&P SL20 was also up 0.68 percent or 21.66 points to 3,187.65.

Hatton National Bank, Commercial Bank and LOLC saw gains in morning trade, while Tokyo cement and Lanka Hospitals were trading down during morning trading. (Colombo/Sep27/2023)

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Sri Lanka rupee opens at 323.50/324.10 to the US dollar, bond yields stable

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee opened at 323.50/324.10 to the US dollar on Wednesday, after closing on Tuesday at 323.70/324.20 to the US dollar, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 was quoted at 15.50/70 percent on Wednesday up from Tuesday’s close at 15.45/65 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 was quoted at 14.50/55 percent from closing at Tuesday at 14.30/55 percent. (Colombo/Sep27/2023)

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