An Echelon Media Company
Thursday April 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka protestors ready to hand over seized govt buildings except president’s office

Colombo: Scenes at the July 09th protest

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s youth-led protest movement known as the argalaya (the struggle) has decided to hand back government buildings excluding the presidential secretariat that they have been occupying for several days.

Representatives for the argalaya told reporters on Thursday July 14  that the decision was made as it was not the intention of the protestors to occupy buildings but to send corrupt politicians home.

“We have decided we will withdraw from most of these properties except the presidential secretariat and the Galle Face protest site because people have gathered in the secretariat building to send a very clear message to not only to the executive but also to the legislator,” Swasthika Arulingam a protester addressing a media briefing said.

“We want you to do your job. We have come here and stood here for 97 days and we have asked [President] Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign and [Prime Minister] Ranil Wickremesinghe to resign but for the last three days these politicians have acted as if this country is their private property.

“They have put our country and our sovereignty at risk by leaving the country without any plan or without a resignation, playing the fool with our people.”

She said there have been several attempts to portray these occupations as violent.

“Standing from this protest site I want to tell the people outside of this struggle that these parts of the struggle have never been violent and the occupation has always been peaceful. These buildings are people’s property. They are not anyone’s private property and people have a right to occupy,”  said Arulingam.

She said the protesters will stay in the Galle Face site and at the presidential secretariat until the goals are achieved.

On July 09 Saturday at least 30,000 people flooded to Colombo to join the Occupy Wall Street-style protest in the face of a worsening economic crisis and demanding the resignation of President Rajapaksa.

The protesters managed to breach the old parliament (Presidential Secretariat), the Queens house – official residence of the President and Temple Trees, the official residence of the Prime Minister.

By Saturday evening, the president announced that he would be stepping down from his post but needed time till July 13.

However, after several confirmations that the President would step down, he did a somersault and fled the country to the Maldives in the early hours of July 13 which angered the protesters further and resulted in them marching down to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s office.

“After it was confirmed that Gota could no longer serve as President, the activists decided to leave the buildings of the President’s House, Temple Trees and the Prime Minister’s Office, which were liberated by the people,” Devinda Kodagoda, a protestor, said.

“Acquiring the buildings was not the aim of the struggle and this withdrawal is a step forward in the struggle itself.”

The president has yet to step down and has appointed the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as the acting President as he is out of the country.

The parliament speaker has informed the public that if the president fails to send in his resignation letter soon, the possibility of him having vacated his post will be looked into. (Colombo/July14/2022)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka’s discussions with bondholders constructive: State finance minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, State Minister of Finance, Shehan Semasinghe has said.

“It is standard practice, when a representative group of bondholders is formed, to entertain confidential discussions with such group and its appointed advisors. In the case of Sri Lanka, the Ad Hoc Group of Bondholders represents holders controlling more than 50% of the bonds, which make them a privileged interlocutor for Sri Lanka,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“It is well understood that given the price sensitive nature of the negotiations, and according to market regulations, discussions with the Group and its advisors are to be conducted under non-disclosure agreements. This evidently restricts the ability of the Government to unilaterally report about the substance of the discussions.

“The cleansing statement, which was issued on the 16th of April, at the conclusion of this first round of confidential discussions with members of the Group, aims at informing the Sri Lankan people, market participants and other stakeholders to this debt restructuring exercise, about the progress in negotiations. It provides the highest possible level of transparency within the internationally accepted practices in such circumstances.

“As informed in this statement, confidential discussions held in recent weeks with bondholders’ representatives proved constructive, building on the restructuring proposals presented by both parties. During the talks both sides successfully bridged a number of technical issues enabling important progress to be made. Sri Lanka articulated key remaining concerns that need to be addressed in a satisfactory manner.

“The next steps would entail further consultation with the IMF staff regarding assessments of the compatibility of the latest proposals with program parameters. Following these consultations, we hope to continue discussions with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.”

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka rupee weakens at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 301.00/302.05 to the US dollar in the spot forex market on Tuesday, from 299.00/10 on Tuesday, dealers said. Bond yields were broadly steady.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed stable at 11.30/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed at 11.90/12.05 percent up from 11.95/12.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2028 closed at 12.10/20 percent down from 12.10/15 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2029 closed at 12.25/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.03.2031 closed at 12.30/50 percent. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka Treasury Bill yields down across maturities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Treasuries yields were down across maturities at Wednesday’s auction with the 3-month yield moving down 7 basis points to 10.03 percent, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold all 30 billion rupees of 3-month bills offered.

The 6-month yield fell 5 basis points to 10.22 percent, with 25 billion rupees of bills offered and 29.98 billion rupees sold.

The 12-month yield dropped 4 basis points to 10.23 percent with 18.01 billion rupees of bills sold after offering 23 billion rupees. (Colombo/Apr17/2024)

Continue Reading