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Tuesday December 5th, 2023

Sri Lankan hotels offer to set up quarantine facilities

ECONOMYNEXT- Three hotel chains in Sri Lanka; Cinnamon, Citrus and Serendib, have offered properties to be used as quarantine centers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the island.

The 150-room Citrus Waskaduwa, Serendib Leisure’s 154-room Club Dolphin in Negombo and the 81-room Trinco Blu by Cinnamon have been offered to the government as quarantine facilities.

John Keells Holdings Plc Chairman Krishan Balendra had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday offering the Cinnamon property in Trincomalee to be used as a quarantine centre on a temporary basis, should the need arise, the firm said in a statement.

Citrus Leisure Plc in a statement said its occupancies have fallen to a bare minimum due to global travel restrictions, and would continue to drop further in the future.

“The Board of Directors of Citrus Waskaduwa (Waskaduwa Beach Resort PLC) took into account the current crisis faced by the Nation and the world at large,” the firm said.

“…in keeping with the Group’s Nation mindedness ethos, the Board decided to offer its 150 roomed resort, Citrus Waskaduwa to be used as a quarantine center by the National Operations to Prevent Covid – 19 on a temporary basis, should the need arise.”

“In the event that the Authorities decide to use the resort temporarily, the resort will be completely decontaminated in keeping with international standards before normal resort operations commence.”

Hemas Holdings Plc’s Serendib Leisure has also offered up its Club Dolphin as a quarantine center.

In Vietnam over 150 hotels have registered with the government to provide facilities for quarantine as thousands of overseas Vietnamese return home. Restrictions on foreigners began only this week.

In addition to free quarantine provided by the government, incoming passengers could also choose from a range of paid options up to 5 star category for 14 days. Vietnam also tests arrivals.

Sri Lanka has halted arrivals except for returning Buddist pilgrims.

Sri Lanka has imposed an islandwide curfew, which will be temporarily lifted for eight hours on Monday for most of the country, and on Tuesday for the west coast cities Colombo, Gamapaha and Puttalam district.

So far, 77 coronavirus infected individuals have been identified, including a Chinese national who had recovered and left the island. (Colombo/Mar21/2020)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 327.40/90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 327.40/90 to the US dollar on Tuesday, from 328.10/30 the previous day, dealers said.

Bond yields were stable.

A bond maturing on 01.06.2025 closed at 13.60/70 percent from 13.70/14.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed at 13.90/14.00 percent from 13.90/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 closed at 14.00/15 percent from 14.00/14.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 14.10/20 percent from 14.20/35 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 14.20/35 percent, from 14.25/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 14.10/35 percent, from 14.05/40 percent. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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Sri Lanka stocks close down as investor sentiment dips

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed down on Tuesday, CSE data showed.

The All Share Price Index was down 0.40 percent, or 43.50 points, at 10,700.09.

The S&P SL20 index was up 0.43 percent, or 13.32 points, at 3,054.41.

Turnover was at 711 million. The capital goods sector contributed 172 million, the food, beverage and tobacco sector contributed 140 million, and banks 113 million of this.

Top positive contributors to the ASPI in the day were John Keells Holdings Plc (up at 193.00), Richard Pieris And Company Plc (up at 19.80), and Nation Lanka Finance Plc, (up at 0.40).

Negative contributors were Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc (down at 89.70), Sampath Bank Plc (down at 71.00), and Central Finance Company Plc, (down at 106.00). (Colombo/Dec5/2023).

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Sri Lanka plans to reduce number of school grades from 13 to 12

ECONOMYNEXT – The Ministry of Education proposes to reduce the number of school grades from 13 to 12, according to a government information department statement.

“Every child will be given the opportunity to finish school in 17 years through the proposed new education reforms,” education officials were quoted as saying after a discussion on budget allocations.

Under the proposed system, pre-school education will be at the age of 4 years, the primary section between grades 1-5, junior section between grades 6-8, and senior section between grades 9-12.

The General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level Exam (GCE O/L) is proposed to be conducted in grade 10, and the Advanced Level Examination in grade 12.

It has also been decided to reduce the number of mandatory subjects at the GCE O/L Exam from 9 to 7.

Three new subjects, information and communication technology (ICT), technical and professional skills, and religion and values will be made mandatory and included in those 7 subjects. (Colombo/Dec5/2023)

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