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Thursday July 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka sees more boat people events as economic crisis worsens

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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Navy has taken into custody eight boats with 351 migrants on board in May 2022 in mainly off the eastern coast, as desperate people attempt to escape soaring inflation as the currency collapsed after two years of money printing by the central bank.

Helping migrants leave, now called human-smuggling has become a booming business once again as many Sri Lankans want to leave the country due to a gloomy economic and political outlook, political analysts say.

Police sources said most of the desperate migrants Sri Lankan migrants are aiming to make it to Australia.

Since the first boat was intercepted by the Navy on May 18 with 40 people onboard in the seas off the eastern Batticaloa district, Sri Lanka’s security establishment have arrested 67 people in the waters off Trincomalee, Eastern province, another boat with 26 illegal migrants in the southern seas and another 19 in a boat off the Western province.

Four boats taken by the navy and other security forces in May.

It is not clear under which law the boats were stopped as Sri Lanka is not a dictatorship which require exist visas for movement. East Germany used to shoot people attempting to cross to the West.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on freedom of movement (a) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state and (b) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 12 of the ICCPR also guarantees the right of person to leave without exit visas and has unrestricted rights for a citizen to return.

However countries like Australia has been giving technical support for Sri Lanka navy to block the movement of people.

The Australian embassy in Sri Lanka tweeted on June 6: “A timely reminder that whilst Australia has a new government, its border protection policies have not changed. #ZeroChance“. 

The out migration trend continued as Sri Lanka’s economic crisis worsened with growing queues for essentials and skyrocketing prices of food making basic foods unaffordable even for middle income people.

Thousands are at risk of losing employment as many private companies are facing closures due to lower demand and a lack of financing to sustain the businesses.

However police say there may be scams.

“Most of these illegal migrants have paid millions of rupees for their journey,” a police officer who is aware of the probe into the recent migration trend told EconomyNext.

“Nobody knows if it will be a success. Even if they go beyond Sri Lankan waters, it will be extremely difficult for them to do the same with other country’s coastguards,”

In June, however, undocumented migration attempts continued, with 15 arrested in a boat off the Western coastal town of Marawila and another 76 from the nearby town of Chilaw.

Yet another boat with 38 illegal migrants onboard was stopped by the navy in the seas off the Eastern district of Ampara followed by 64 people attempting to flee the country who were arrested in the waters off Trincomalee on Wednesday.

Analysts had warned earlier that the Keynesian stimulus for output gap targeting under flexible inflation targeting will lead to boat people and social unrest. (Sri Lanka’s monetary meltdown will accelerate unless quick action is taken)

Some Sri Lankans living in the island’s Northern province have already arrived in neighbouring India’s southern shores using similar methods.

These migrants have not been repatriated by India, unlike in the case of Australia.

Undocumented migration was on the rise in 2013-2014 due to economic hardships and Australia came forward to finance boats and training for the island nation’s navy and coastguards to prevent such attempts.

Australia has come under fire from rights groups of some of its practices on undocumented migrants.

Millions of Sri Lankans mainly ethnic minority Tamils have taken asylum during and after a three decade war claiming that they were unable to live peacefully in the country.

They have settled now in Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, the United States, and Canada. (Colombo/Jun17/2022)

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  1. robbo says:

    This is all to do with a new Government in Australia that will grant you a Visa if you make it there. Even though they lied to the Australian people before the election and said refugees and boat people would not b allowed into the place. And then only 30% of the people in Australia voted for these people, yet somehow they formed Government. Got me beat. So come on down Sri Lanka, make it to Australia and you’re in, free health free schools, get a mobile phone on arrival, even free cigarettes, settle in for a few months and then bring your family, all of them. . Everything is Free Free Free and the mugs in Australia, otherwise known as the taxpayers, will foot the bill for you

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  1. robbo says:

    This is all to do with a new Government in Australia that will grant you a Visa if you make it there. Even though they lied to the Australian people before the election and said refugees and boat people would not b allowed into the place. And then only 30% of the people in Australia voted for these people, yet somehow they formed Government. Got me beat. So come on down Sri Lanka, make it to Australia and you’re in, free health free schools, get a mobile phone on arrival, even free cigarettes, settle in for a few months and then bring your family, all of them. . Everything is Free Free Free and the mugs in Australia, otherwise known as the taxpayers, will foot the bill for you

Sri Lanka to conduct threat assessments for presidential candidates

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has submitted a cabinet paper proposing security measures for presidential candidates and former presidents, following the recent attack on former US President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in the USA.

“This proposal suggests the appointment of a committee to conduct threat assessments and provide necessary security for Presidential candidates as well as former Presidents,” a statement from his media division said.

The committee will include the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security as Chair, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief of National Intelligence, and the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police/Elections.

A Deputy Inspector General of Police will be appointed to oversee all security arrangements.

The committee and the designated officer will work closely with the Election Commission to ensure seamless coordination of security arrangements, the PMD said.

After today, July 17, Sri Lanka’s Election Committee is empowered to announce a date for the presidential polls due to be held this year.

Minister of Foreign Affairs M U M Ali Sabry has said the election will be held on October 5 or 12.

Members of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) have said that the government should be accountable for the security of Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the SJB’s presidential candidate. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.80/304.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed almost flat at 303.80/304.00 to the US dollar on Wednesday, from 303.70/304.00 to the US dollar on Tuesday, dealers said, while bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.60/75 percent, down from 10.82/92 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.60/38 percent, down from 11.65/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.72/78 percent, down from 11.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.05/10 percent, down from 12.05/20 percent. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down, John Keells, Hemas, Hayleys push turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Wednesday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed down 0.41 percent, or 48.44 points, at 11,830; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed down 0.52 percent, or 17.91 points, at 3,456.

Turnover was 1.2 million. A big part of this (Rs597mn) came from John Keells Holdings Plc (down at 194.25).

“There was foreign buying interest on John Keells and Hemas,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

“We saw foreign interest in selective counters persist.”

Hemas Holdings Plc contributed Rs143mn to the turnover, and the share closed down at 81.10.

Hayleys Plc contributed Rs156mn to the turnover, and the share closed up at 101.50.

The three crossings made up 67 percent of the turnover.

The capital goods counters, with all the bluechips, was the leading sector contributing to the day’s turnover.

With the exception of Hayleys and a couple of other companies, the counter saw most stocks close down or flat.

Sentiment around the banking counters also remained negative.

“The volatility in investor sentiments persisted. There are a lot of spectators in the market over the last few weeks, despite some positive news coming in.”

Treasury bill and bond rates have also dropped.

The top contributors to the ASPI were Melstacorp Plc (up at 86.00), SMB Finance Plc (up at 0.70), and TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 40.00).

There was a net foreign inflow of 392 million. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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