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Sunday June 16th, 2024

Sri Lanka President meets King Charles III amid a spike in republicanism

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe had participated in a Commonwealth meeting in London with King Charles II, amid questions raised over the continuation of the monarchy.

Charles was crowned amid ‘not my king’ protestors in London some of whom called to ‘privatize’ the Monarchy.

The name Charles is closely linked to Republicanism in the UK.

Charles III was crowned king according to customs dating back centuries, amid isolated protests from republicans who want the constitutional monarchy to come to an end.

England was a republic after his namesake, Charles I was executed on January 30, 1649. England became a republic under Oliver Cromwell, following the English civil war between the forces of parliament and Royalists.

Read More: Charles I

Read More: Interregnum in England 1649-1660

The end of the civil war effectively led to the establishment of a standing army under the parliament as opposed to a Royal guard and ad hoc armies in times of conflict which was typical of an earlier age in Europe.

Charles II was crowned King of England in 1660 in the so-called restoration of the monarchy.

The eldest child of executed Charles I, he was until then the King of Scotland, having being proclaimed as such by the Scottish Parliament on February 05, 1649 less than a week after his father’s execution.

Though the monarchy has come under fire, political analysts have said that in the UK and elsewhere constitutional monarchies have helped prevent parliamentary absolutism, excessive militarism and also nationalist hate targeting minorities.

Absent of the popular vote, monarchs in general have ruled over different peoples with a variety of languages and religions without discriminating against minorities to win votes from the majority.

Many former regions of the British Empire which were under Kings when they were annexed but gained independence without a war, succumbed to parliamentary absolutism and oppressive laws passed against minorities using parliamentary absolutism, critics say.

Read more: Parliamentary absolutism

Amid the controversial marriage to current Queen consort, Camilla and the death of his first wife Lady Diana, Charles III is less popular than his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

Elizabeth II was also Queen of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) until the country became a republic in 1972. (Colombo/May06/2023)

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Sri Lanka car import relaxing roadmap given to IMF: State Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has submitted a roadmap on relaxing vehicle imports to the International Monetary Fund, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siymabalapitiya said as the country recovers from the worst currency crises in the history of its central bank.

The import relaxation will allow vehicles for public transport, goods transport, then motor cycles and cars use by private individuals and after that, luxury cars, Minister Siyambalapitiya said.

Luxury cars however attract the highest taxes for each dollar spent on imports.

Economic analysts have characterized vehicle import controls as a ‘cascading policy error’ that follows inflationary rate cuts, which then deprive taxes to the state and triggers more money printing and more forex shortages, requiring even higher corrective interest rates and a contraction of economic activities to save the rupee.

According to the latest IMF report car import controls may have led to revenue losses of 0.7 to 0.9 percent of GDP.

Sri Lanka started controlling imports few years after a central bank was set up in 1950 and also tightened exchange controls progressively, so that macroeconomists using post-1920 spurious monetary doctrines taught at Anglophone universities could print money through various mechanisms to suppress rates.

Sri Lanka is working with the IMF as a guide on many issues and the roadmap was submitted to the agency on June 14, Minister Siyambalapitiya said.

The IMF in an economic report released last week the plan was expected to be submitted by June 15.

Whatever the IMF’s faults, which some wags have called ‘progressive Saltwaterism’, the agency does not advocate import controls as solution to balance of payments problems, despite a Mercantilist fixation with the current account deficit in countries with reserve collecting central banks, analysts say.

Import controls have the same effect as import substation on the balance of payments, which is none, classical economists have pointed out and is now mainly a problem associated with macro economists and economic bureaucrats of so-called basket case countries.

Any pressure on the currency or missed reserves targets in the IMF program has come in the past only if the central bank printed money to suppress rates as credit growth picked up from car imports.

Sri Lanka had 3,000 items under import controls when rates were suppressed with printed money from 2020 to 2022 but eventually ended up with the worst currency crisis triggered by macro economists in the history of the country and eventual external default.

A committee made up of the Department of Trade and Fiscal Policy of the Finance Ministry, the Department of Registration of Motor Vehicles, the Central Bank and two associations representing vehicle imports were appointed to come up with the roadmap, he said. (Colombo/June15/2024)

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Chitrasiri Committee presents draft constitution for Sri Lanka Cricket

ECONOMYNEXT – A draft constitution for Sri Lanka Cricket, the governing body for cricket in the island, prepared by a committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge K T Chitrasiri, was presented to President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (15).

The Sri Lanka team were ignominiously knocked out of the Men’s T20 World Cup tournament this week, sparking renewed criticism of the team and the governing body.

Last November, a cabinet sub-committee was appointed to address challenges faced by Sri Lanka Cricket and provide recommendations after consecutive losses became a hot topic in parliament.

After parliament decided to remove the administrators of the sport, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board suspended Sri Lanka Cricket’s membership.

Based on the sub-committee’s recommendations in its report, the Cabinet then appointed an expert committee to draft a new constitution for Sri Lanka Cricket.

The committee headed by judge K T Chitrasiri includes President’s Counsel Harsha Amarasekara, Attorney-at-Law Dr Aritha Wickramanayake and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce Duminda Hulangamuwa.

Deputy Solicitor General Manohara Jayasinghe, and Shamila Krishanthi, Assistant Draftsman representing the Legal Draftsman’s Department, and Loshini Peiris, Additional Secretary to the President were also on the committee. (Colombo/Jun14/2024)

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Sri Lanka’s Cable Solutions in Rs605mn IPO

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Cable Solutions Limited will make an initial public offering of ordinary voting shares on the Diri Savi Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

The CSE had approved, in-principle, an application submitted by the company, for the listing of its ordinary voting shares by way of an offer for subscription and an offer for sale.

For subscription, 14,666,600 shares would be offered at 7.50 rupees a share.

For sale, 66,120,000 shares would be offered at 7.50 rupees a share.

The opening of subscription list is July 23. Copies of the prospectus would be made available to trading participants on July 9. (Colombo/Jun15/2024)

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Sri Lanka’s ACL Cables wraps up acquisition of Cable Solutions

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