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Friday June 14th, 2024

US, Sri Lanka navies to conduct CARAT 2024 exercise in Trincomalee

ECONOMYNEXT — The United States Navy, US Marine Corps, and Sri Lanka Navy will partner for the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Sri Lanka 2024 exercise from April 22-26 in Trincomalee, the US embassy said.

CARAT Sri Lanka will feature the expertise of the US Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST), a US Marine Corps unit specialised in security and anti-terrorism for naval assets, engaging alongside their Sri Lanka Navy Marine counterparts on a full spectrum of naval capabilities, the embassy said in a statement on Monday April 22.

“The CARAT Sri Lanka exercise includes a Women, Peace, and Security Symposium on April 24 to promote the vital roles women play in peace negotiations, conflict management, and resolution.  With approximately 70 U.S. personnel working with their Sri Lanka military partners, this fifth iteration of the CARAT Sri Lanka bilateral maritime exercise underscores the strong partnership and shared commitment of the United States and Sri Lanka to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the statement said.

US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung was quoted as saying that, since Sri Lanka began participating in CARAT in 2017, it has grown to become the most significant bilateral military engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka, reflecting our shared commitment to the peace and stability of the Indian Ocean Region.

“This exercise demonstrates the importance the United States places on nurturing partnerships, encouraging cooperation, and advancing maritime capabilities, enabling the US and Sri Lankan navies to better operate together to address maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific,” she said.

Sri Lanka Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera was quoted as saying that taking part in such exercises enables the Sri Lanka Navy to gain confidence, experience and operational training by working alongside an experienced and well-equipped navy like the US Navy.

“This can be particularly valuable in situations where the Sri Lanka Navy is required to engage with multiple array of navies for combined operations in the establishment of freedom of navigation and rules-based order in the ocean region, as well as responding to traditional and nontraditional threats in the maritime domain,” he said.

Senior Defense Official at the US Embassy Anthony Nelson said the aim of CARAT is to enhance the ability of the two countries’ navies to defend their own nations and uphold the international standards that serve mutual interests.

“But it’s not just about honing our naval capabilities; CARAT Sri Lanka 2024 stands as a powerful symbol of our partnership, building lasting friendships and mutual understanding by working shoulder to shoulder with our Sri Lankan counterparts,” he said.

Initiated in 1995, CARAT is a series of bilateral and multilateral exercises between the United States and Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the embassy’s statement said, this exercise series is designed to enhance the operational collaboration between the US and partner navies’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and build relationships through sports, cultural, and information exchanges. (Colombo/Apr22/2024)

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Sri Lanka opposition leader proposes Grama Rajya system in addition to 13A

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa (r) – File photo

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has proposed devolving power to the village level through a Grama Rajya system in addition to implementing the 13th amendment to the constitution.

Speaking at an event in Jaffna on on Wednesday June 12, Premadasa said all provinces will benefit from the 13th amendment.

“Whatever one’s ethnicity, religion, status or region, this country has citizens of equal level. They’re all Sri Lankan citizens.

“There is no division or grouping.  As we give you and every other province what you should be given through the 13th amendment, we must implement a Grama Rajya system,” Premadasa said, addressing a crowd of school children and other attendees.

Premadasa’s assurance of implementing the 13th amendment has already drawn some protest in the south.

A collective of civil society organisations held a protest outside the office of the leader of the opposition in Colombo on Thursday June 12.

Calling itself the ‘Coalition Against Partition of Sri Lanka’, the group carrying national flags marched up to the opposition leader’s office Thursday June 13 morning and demonstrated against the full implementation of the 13th amendment.

“We arrived here today to hand over a missive against devolving police powers, land powers and judicial powers. If Mr Premadasa is inside, come outside,” Jamuni Kamantha Thushara, Chairman of the Citizen’s Movement Against Fraud, Corruption, and Waste, was seen declaring at the site.

“First of all, tell us what we stand to achieve by dividing and giving away the north and east,” said another protestor, warning against bringing the 13th amendment “anywhere here (paththa palaathe)”.

A police officer at the scene the protestors that a secretary to the opposition leader was ready to accept their letter.

“In Kilonochchi, he says the 13th amendment will be implemented. The votes in the north are going to be decisive this election. To win those votes, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith and Anura Kumara Dissanayake all say they will implement the 13th. We will not allow this country to be divided into nine pieces,” said Thushara.

Ven Balangoda Kassapa Thero, who was arrested on June 06 during a protest against the new Electricity Act, was also seen at Thursday’s protest. The Buddhist monk requested for a debate with Premadasa on the matter of the 13th amendment. (Colombo/Jun12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.85/95 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed broadly flat at 303.85/95 to the US dollar on Thursday, from 303.80/304.00 to the dollar the previous day, dealers said. Bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.00/30 percent, down from 10.20/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 10.60/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.00/15 percent, down from 11.15/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 11.80/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 11.85/12.05 percent, down from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 11.95/12.15 percent. (Colombo/Jun13/2024)

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Sri Lanka sells Rs295bn in 2027 to 2031 bonds

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has sold 295 billion rupees in 2027, 2029 and 2031 bonds, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold an offered 60 billion rupees of 15 October 2027 at an average yield of 10.30 percent.

All offered 125 billion rupees of 15 September 2029 bonds were sold at 11.00 percent.

All 110 billion rupees offered of 01 December 2031 bonds were sold at 12.00 percent. (Colombo/May13/2024)

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