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Friday June 14th, 2024

Wickremesinghe will win no more than 2.5 mn votes at presidential poll: SJB

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe will secure no more than 2.5 million votes if he contests the upcoming presidential elections, main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Ashok Abeysinghe said.

Speaking to reporters, Abeysinghe predicted that, no sooner the presidential election is called, former United National Party (UNP) MPs who lost their seats at the 2020 parliamentary elections will join the SJB en masse.

“This is guaranteed. But no one from our party will leave to a party on the decline,” he said, referring to comments made by UNP general secretary Palith Range Bandara and others that crossovers from the SJB are on the horizon.

“I predict that, if Mr Wickremesinghe contests, he won’t get more than 2.5 million votes. That is why there is talk of a UNP-SLPP alliance these days,” said Abeysinghe.

“The elephant has already allied with the pohottuwa and become president. Everyone knows what will happen if the SLPP doesn’t field its own candidate at the next election and decide to support Mr Wickremesinghe,” he added.

The MP said that voters are unlikely to support an alliance of two parties that have accused each other of robbery.

With just months to go to Sri Lanka’s presidential polls, President Wickremesinghe’s UNP has extended an open invitation to four prominent members of the SJB to return to the grand old party.

Earlier this week, general secretary Range Bandara SJB MPs Thalatha Athukorale, Kabeer Hashim, Harsha de Silva, and Eran Wickramaratne to join the UNP, the latter three of whom make up the SJB’s economic council and largely share Wickremesinghe’s liberal, social market outlook.

Bandara claimed the SJB, which broke off from the UNP in the run-up to the 2020 parliamentary elections, is now controlled by a faction of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). He implied that the SJB leader Sajith Premadasa has been ignoring the four MPs the UNP is now trying to woo to its side. (Colombo/Apr19/2024)

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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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