Harsha: Will RW use Emergency to steamroller his economic reforms?-By Saman Indrajith Source:Island SJB MP Harsha de Silva yesterday asked President Ranil Wickremesinghe whether the latter was planning to use Emergency powers to suppress the people who might oppose his economic reform agenda. “It is being asked why the government wants to continue the State of Emergency. The anti-government protesters have gone home. There is no unrest. There are those who say that the President wants to keep the Emergency laws to carry out economic reforms. Does that mean the President will use these laws to scare people into submission if they do not accept his economic reforms? I don’t think people can be intimidated. I want the President to answer this question,” he said. MP de Silva said that the government did not have public support and that it was obvious that the spectre of the Rajapaksas was haunting ...

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Broke, downgraded and begging: Sri Lanka pays price for missteps – by MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR South Asian nation’s economic crisis draws comparisons with Lebanon’s meltdown Source:asia.nikkei.com BANGKOK — Sri Lanka’s failure to settle interest payments on sovereign bonds and its subsequent ratings downgrade have drawn unflattering comparisons with the economic meltdown in Lebanon. The South Asian nation on April 18 failed to pay interest of $78.13 million on $1.25 billion of bonds. Standard & Poor’s followed up this week with a downgrade to a “selective default” rating — the latest knife in the back of the debt-ridden economy. Foreign investors who had bought the island’s international sovereign bonds (ISBs) were angry that they were misled by promises the debt would be paid. The principal cheerleader was Nivard Cabraal, the then central bank governor. Throughout he stood by views he had expressed to Nikkei in a February interview: “I am determined to ...

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Port City Economic Commission Bill; Separate state in the horizon?-by Kamanthi Wickramasinghe The gazetting of the Port City Economic Commission Bill so quickly has raised a few eyebrows both in the local business community as well as in the legal fraternity  Source:Dailymirror Political parties including the Opposition have raised concerns over transparency and the use of Executive powers by the President to run it as a separate state The Bill will become a reality whatever government is in power in Sri Lanka The Bill makes the case for the necessity, preservation, and perhaps the further strengthening of the already strong Presidential system of government The people should get an opportunity to decide for themselves whether this Bill, if transformed into law, affects their freedom Without reforming the system in place, it is difficult to expect everything relating only to the Port City to run smoothly through the legal and judicial ...

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