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Friday July 12th, 2024

Sri Lanka presidential election will be held in 2024 despite legal challenges: president

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka’s presidential election will be held in 2024 regardless of legal challenges, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

The President’s Media Division (PMD) quoted Wickremesinghe as saying that parliamentary elections and provincial councils will follow the presidential poll.

He made this remark at the funeral of former opposition leader and leader of the Tami National Alliance (TNA) R Sampanthan in Trincomalee on Sunday July 07.

“It is declared necessary to hold provincial council elections. However, we have discussed and decided to hold the presidential election first. Regardless of any legal challenges, the presidential election will be held this year. Following that, parliamentary elections will be conducted, and then provincial council elections will be held,” the PMD quoted the president as saying.

Last week, Wickremesinghe said he believes the president’s term is five years, expressing his support for holding the presidential election in 2024 and disavowing a case filed in the Supreme Court seeking a verdict stating that a president’s term is six years.

That case is to be taken up on Monday July 8.

“It has come to my attention that Chamindra Dayan Lenawa has filed an application in the Supreme Court, arguing that Article 30(2) should not be considered amended by Section 3 of the 19th Amendment. He requests the Court to declare that the President’s term is six years and to issue an interim order stopping the Election Commission from conducting the Presidential Election in 2024 until a decision is made. Lenawa did not consult me or my lawyers before filing,” Wickremesinghe said in a tweet Thursday July 04 afternoon.

“I firmly believe that the President’s term is five years, and I support the Election Commission’s steps to hold the Presidential Election in 2024,” he said.

Lenawa, an entrepreneur, submitted the petition to the Supreme Court requesting an interpretation of the tenure of the incumbent president according to Sri Lanka’s constitution.

According to media reports, the petitioner has sought a clarification on the exact duration of the president’s term and an interim order to delay the upcoming presidential election until said interpretation is issued. (Colombo/Jul08/2024)

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Sri Lanka appoints new Attorney General

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed K A Parinda Ranasinghe PC as Attorney General.

He was appointed in terms of Article 61E (b) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the president’s media division said.

The new AG received the appointment from President Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Friday.

He fills the post after the retirement of former Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 301.70/302.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger at 301.70/302.00 to the US dollar on Friday, from 302.80/303.00 to the US dollar on Thursday, dealers said, while bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.90/11.00 percent, up from 10.85/95 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.75/80 percent, up from 11.80/88 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.90/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.10/30 percent, up from 12.15/25 percent. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, muted activity

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Friday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.35 percent, or 41.71 points, at 11,843; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.56 percent, or 19.20 points, at 3,454.

Turnover was low at 653 million.

“The market picked up a bit from yesterday but it’s still below the psychological 12,000 mark,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“Local retail participation drove the market predominantly.”

John Keells Holdings Plc brought in Rs109mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 194.50.

Melstacorp Plc contributed in Rs104mn to the turnover, and the share closed flat at 85.00.

Sentiment around the banking counters was mostly negative. Sampath Bank Plc closed down at 77.00, closed flat at 101.25, and Hatton National Bank Plc closed flat at 195.25.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (up at 103.50), Bukit Darah Plc (up at 397.00), and Hayleys Plc (up at 101.00).

Foreign participation remained low as well. There was a higher net foreign outflow of 101 million.

“Foreign selling was seen on John Keells Holdings, and banking counters; Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 195.00), Pan Asia Banking Corporation Plc (down at 20.70), and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

There was selective foreing interest on the diversified financials sector, particularly in companies that had vehicle leasing portfolios. “We think this might be due to the news of the vehicle import ban possibly ending.”

LOLC Holdings Plc closed up at 440.50, People’s Leasing and Finance Plc closed up at 12.20.

Softlogic Holdings Plc which announced the date of its rights issue, closed up at 8.50. (Colombo/Jul12/2024)

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