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Wednesday February 28th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s Litro promises continuous LP gas supply; CPC says fuel en route

File photo of fuel queue in 2022

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state run liquid petroleum (LP) gas company Litro announced a continuous supply of cooking gas cylinders to the market starting Friday (18), while the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said a fuel consignment sufficient for 20-25 days is also expected.

A Litro spokesman said 120,000 cylinders of LP gas were to be released to the market on Friday after a consignment of 3,500 metric tons of gas was unloaded at the Muthurajawela gas terminal.

The spokesman said that, in the coming days, Litro will issue gas according to market demand.

However, media reports showed long queues of people outside gas traders for long hours till the cylinders arrived. An ongoing forex shortage has led to similar queues for many essentials including fuel.

The dealers said, even though cylinders have been issued by the supplier, they have yet to reach them for distribution.

With the government focusing on purchasing fuel for daily consumption as well as power generation, importers said that commercial banks are no longer opening letters of credit (LCs) for them.

Last week, both Litro and the private Laugfs Gas Pvt Ltd that make up the LP gas duopoly in Sri Lanka predicted a possible shortage. Both companies had suspended gas supply to the market for a few days until Litro recommenced distribution on Friday with the arrival of the new consignment.

Meanwhile, fuel stations said demand for kerosene has increased, and people waiting in line at fuel stations can also be seen along with vehicles waiting for petrol or diesel.

Several fuel stations that supply CPC fuel and Indian Oil Company (OIC) fuel told EconomyNext that several types of fuel are not available to consumers at the moment.

“We have no types of fuel yet. Not Until Monday (21). We have closed the station,” a spokesman for an IOC fuel station in Maharagama said.

Another IOC station in Colombo 07 told EconomyNext that diesel will not be available till late evening on Friday, but enough petrol stock is available for consumers.

Despite CPC claims that there is no fuel shortage in the country, media reports continue to show long ng queues of vehicles waiting in front of CPC fuel station island wide.

CPC chairman Samantha Ratnayaka on Wednesday (16) said Sri Lanka was due to receive 140,000 metric tons of diesel and 60,000 metric tons of petrol in the next few days.

“Apart from the petrol consignment we unloaded on Wednesday, we expect to receive 60,000 metric tons of petrol,” Ratnayaka said.

“We have yet to receive these consignments, but they will be sufficient for around 20-25 days, so there will be no fuel storage in the country in the near future,” he said.

Officials said even though Sri Lanka has enough fuel for daily consumption, panic buying by consumers has created shortages in the country. (Colombo/Mar18/2022)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, retail activity coming in

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

The broader All Share Index closed up 55.29 points, or 0.52 percent at 10,678; while the S&P SL20 Index closed up at 3,056 points, up 0.06 percent, or 1.73 points.

Turnover was at 1.2 billion.

Market participants said that “retail activity is also picking up.”

Hemas Holdings Plc saw large volumes being traded, contributing 90 million to the day’s turnover. The share closed up at 75.00.

Kapruka Holdings Plc announced that it had purchased 197,015 ordinary voting shares of its subsidiary Kapruka e-Commerce (Pvt) Ltd for 13.2 million rupees at 67 a share. The proceeds will be used by Kapruka e-Commerce “to fulfill the IPO objective of launching Kapruka Partner Central, the company said. The share closed down at 6.80.

E B Creasy and Company Plc announced a disposal of investment in its subsidiary, Lanka Special Steels Limited (LSSL) in accordance with the restructuring process of the E B Creasy Group. The Board resolved “to divest its 100% stake represented by 2,138,657 shares in its subsidiary Lanka Special Steels Limited (LSSL), to subsidiary company Laxapana Batteries PLC (Laxapana) for a total consideration of Rs694mn which will be settled in installments. Shares of E B Creasy and Company Plc closed up at 22.00.

Sectors that attracted investor interest were Capital Goods (376mn), Food, Beverage and Tobacco (181mn), and Banks (166mn).

Positive contributors to the indices in the day included Hayleys Plc (up at 82.00), Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc (up at 104.00), Vallibel One Plc (43.30), and Cargills (Ceylon) Plc (up at 349.75) whose Chairman Ranjith Paige donated 3 million rupees to the ‘Children of Gaza Fund’ earlier today. (Colombo/Feb28/2024).

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Sri Lanka Education Ministry asks schools to keep children out of sun

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Education Ministry has warned school officials against exposing children to the sun as the Natural Hazards Early Warning Centre issued a heat index advisory.

“As extreme hot weather may rise further today, tomorrow and the next day (Feb 28, 29 and March 1), avoid keeping school students outdoors in high temperatures,” the ministry said in a statement.

With temperatures expected to increase in the next few days, “students in any school in the island will not participate in outdoor sports training activities or sports events”. The Ministry of Education has advised all schools to refrain from engaging in any other external activity.

Instructions have been forwarded to the provincial and regional education authorities to inform principals, and “to proceed according to the series of instructions issued by the Ministry of Health”.

According to the Department of Meteorology forecast, the heat index, the temperature felt on the human body, is expected to increase up to the ‘Caution’ level at some places in the North-western, Western and Southern provinces and Ratnapura District.

A ‘Caution’ level denotes ‘fatigue is possible with prolonged exposure and activity. Continuing activity could result in heat cramps.

ACTION REQUIRED
Job sites: Stay hydrated and takes breaks in the shade as often as possible.
Indoors: Check up on the elderly and the sick.
Vehicles: Never leave children [or pets] unattended.
Outdoors: Limit strenuous outdoor activities, find shade and stay hydrated.
Dress: Wear lightweight and white or light-colored clothing.
(Colombo/Feb28/2024)

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Sri Lanka focused on national unity: FM at UN Human Rights Council

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry has urged members of the UN Human Rights Council not to allow short-term political gains or “domestic vote bank politics” to overtake the work of the Council.

Sabry addressed the high-level segment of the 55th Session of the Council through a pre-recorded video statement on Tuesday.

“In my address to HRC55 via a video message, I underlined Sri Lanka’s continuing focus and tangible steps taken in the interest of national unity and reconciliation, reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to engaging in constructive Human Rights processes while rejecting politicized and unilateral measures that infringe upon the sovereignty of Member States,” Sabry said on X (twitter).

“I stressed the fact that the manner in which the Council approaches the humanitarian crisis in Gaza will be a litmus test to its credibility as the foremost international human rights body, and reiterated the importance of avoiding double standards being practiced in the pursuit of political agendas.”

The Foreign Minister reiterated Sri Lanka’s rejection of the HRC resolutions 46/1 and 51/1 and the external evidence gathering mechanism established by these resolutions, saying that such mechanisms are counterproductive, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

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Sri Lanka loses vote at UN Human Rights Council

The 55th Session of the Council takes place in Geneva from February 26 – April 5. During this Session, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will present an oral update on Sri Lanka on March 4, as mandated by the HRC Resolution 51/1. (Colombo/Feb28/2024)

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