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Thursday April 18th, 2024

Supreme Court to examine FR petitions on elections next week

ECONOMYNEXT – The Supreme Court will next Monday examine at least six Fundamental Rights petitions challenging the holding of the Parliamentary General Elections on June 20 the courts decided today.

At these hearings the Court will decide whether they are to accept the petitions and proceed with the cases.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Supreme Court Justices Murdu Fernando and S Thurairajah will also consider allowing eight intervening petitions to proceed.

The first FR Petition challenging the election date was filed by Attorney Charitha Guneratne who petitioned saying that the fixing of the date was against the Constitution.

Following that at least 6 more petitions challenging the date as well as 8 intervening petitions were filed.

The other FR Petitions are filed by Journalist Victor Ivan, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, politician Patali Champika Ranawaka, the Samagi Jana Balavegaya and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

Among the intervening petitions is one filed by Muruttetuwe Ananda Thero.

At the outset of today’s proceedings Additional Solicitor-General Indika Devamuni de Silva informed the Supreme Court that the Attorney General is unable to appear for the Chairman and other Members of the National Election Commission who have been named as respondents in these petitions.

President’s Counsel M A Sumanthiran informed the court that the Elections Commission is due to issue the Preferential Numbers of candidates contesting the upcoming elections tomorrow.

After that is done the candidates are likely to go door-to-door campaigning for the polls and in the light of the COVID 19 threat this may be against health regulations he said.

Sumanthiran asked for an interim order preventing the EC from issuing the numbers.

The Chief Justice, in reply, said that he could not issue an order as there was no representation from the Commission and therefore he could not hear their opinion on the matter.

However, he said the EC could take an independent decision on the matter. (Colombo, May 11, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana


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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.”

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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)

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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)

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