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U.S. willing to help Sri Lanka find sustainable solutions to urgent economic challenges

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Julie Chung, the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka meets with UNP Leader and former prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe on Monday, March 21 at the latter's private residence in Colombo.

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Julie Chung, the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka met with UNP Leader and former prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (RW) on Monday, March 21 at the latter’s private residence in Colombo. The meeting took place two weeks following her talks with Denis Chaibi, the EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka on potential areas for collaboration in Sri Lanka and the Indo Pacific.

The official Twitter account of Ambassador Julie Chung said, “A vibrant political opposition is vital in any healthy democracy. Thank you RW for meeting with me to discuss ways the U.S. and Sri Lanka can work together to find sustainable solutions to today’s urgent economic challenges,”

On March 8, she met with TNA Leader R. Sampanthan on the need for a political solution, accountability and justice for all Sri Lankans. Following this meeting she said that she was looking forward to more conversations on democracy, governance and inclusive economic growth for all of Sri Lanka’s diverse communities.

Earlier, the U.S. Ambassador met with Justice Minister Ali Sabry and discussed their ‘shared commitment’ to the rule of law and support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to ensure justice for is citizens including the adoption of modern tech international standards through USAID’s efficient and effective justice project.

Julie Chung during her recent meeting with AmCham Sri Lanka said that the U.S. is committed to working with the local partners to foster a Sri Lankan economy that is sustainable, innovative and inclusive. She further discussed with AmCham ways to increase the prosperity of all Sri Lankans.

She also met with Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colomboge and discussed bilateral cooperation at the UNHRC and continued U.S. support for economic development on the island.

The U.S Ambassador’s assurance to Sri Lanka comes at a time the island nation’s currency reserves have slumped 70% in the last two years to $2.31 billion and it has to repay about $4 billion in debt in the remainder of this year.

Reuters said on Monday that the drain of dollars has left Sri Lanka struggling to pay for critical imports including food, fuel and medicine.

Meanwhile, the government yesterday ordered the military to post soldiers at hundreds of filling stations belonging to Ceypetco to ensure the distribution of fuel without causing more social unrest and deaths.

Sri Lanka’s finance minister is due to head to Washington next month for talks with the IMF with the objective of getting funding assistance from the international lender.

A report by Reuters said that Sri Lanka is going to hire a global law firm to get technical assistance on debt restructuring ahead of the talks IMF.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka repeatedly said that Sri Lanka would not seek assistance of the IMF and would replenish foreign reserves with financial assistance from friendly countries and non-debt creating inflows.



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Sri Lanka’s economic confidence index plummets

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‘No one has rated Sri Lanka’s economic condition as excellent. 1.8 % rated it as good and 1.3 % rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022, a wide ranging Verite Research public opinion survey reveals.

Key findings of the survey:

Government approval rating drops from 10% to 3%

The second round of the Gallup Style “Mood of the Nation” poll was conducted in June by Verité Research. It assessed the approval, satisfaction, and confidence of the nation in relation to the government, the country, and the economy.

The poll was conducted as a part of the syndicated survey instrument by Verité Research. This instrument also provides other organisations the opportunity to survey the sentiments of Sri Lanka.

1. Government approval rating | 3% | To the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way the current government is working?” only 3% said they approve. In January 2022 this rating was at 10%.

2. Sri Lanka satisfaction | 2% | To the question, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in Sri Lanka?” only 2% said they were satisfied. This rating was at 6% in January 2022.

3. Economic confidence | negative (-) 96 | Multiple choice questions on the condition and trajectory of the economy are used to generate an economic confidence score. The score can range from negative (-) 100 to positive (+) 100. A score above zero means more people see the economic conditions positively rather than negatively. If everyone thinks the economy is in either excellent or good condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting better, the score will be (+) 10. If everyone thinks that the economy is in a poor condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting worse, the score will be a (-) 100. No one rated the economic condition as excellent. 1.8% rated it as good; and 1.3% rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022.

Implementation of “Mood of

the Nation”

The poll is based on an island wide nationally representative sample of responses from 1,052 Sri Lankan adults, conducted in June 2022. The sample and methodology was designed to ensure a maximum error margin of under 3% at a 95% confidence interval. The polling partner was Vanguard Survey (Pvt) Ltd.

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Decline in share market in the wake of rate hike reports

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities began on a positive note yesterday but during the latter part of the day the market experienced a dip on account of the overall supply chain economy being subjected to a contraction, stemming from the fuel crisis. Consequently, CSE activities were relatively low keyed, market analysts said.

“We are reverting to the negative. There is uncertainty on all fronts, from the political to the economic. Therefore, we are expecting a rate hike on Thursday. This is creating a bit of a cloud and we may see this continuing further, a top market analyst said.

Even if top level decision- making is happening in Sri Lanka the impact is not felt at the grassroots level. This has resulted in unrest in the country, the analyst said.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 97.9 points and S and P SL20 declined by 34.3 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.3 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 600,000 shares to the tune of Rs 73.2 million, its shares traded at Rs 122.

In the retail market, the top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 611 million (7.3 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 173.9 million (one million shares traded). LOLC Holdings Rs 47.4 million (120,000 sha4es traded), Hayleys PLC Rs 46.5 million (697.000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 46.3 million (6.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs 21 million (173,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Holdings Rs 20.5 million (794,000 shares traded). During the day 109 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions.

The International Monetary Fund said last Thursday its talks with crisis-hit Sri Lanka had been “constructive”, thereby raising hopes it would soon grant preliminary approval for a desperately needed financial support package, observers said.

Meanwhile, the Colombo Consumer Price index rose 54.6 per cent year-on-year in June against a 39.1 per cent rise in May, according to the Statistics Department.

Yesterday the US dollar rate was Rs 360.73, which is now being controlled due to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of the Central Bank.

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Dialog Club vision members receive access to an exclusive screening of ‘Jurassic World Dominion’

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In a bold and breath-taking new global adventure, the epic conclusion to the Jurassic film franchise ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ hit theatres across the world on June 10. Just a day after its global premiere, Dialog Club Vision Red members and their loved ones received special access to an exclusive screening of the film at the Kandy City Centre Multiplex on June 11.

The explosive end to the Jurassic era sees two generations of the film’s franchise unite for the first time with Hollywood’s Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard joined by Oscar winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill. Dialog Club Vision members were some of the first to witness the utopian world where Dinosaurs and humans co-exist.

With the best interests of its members and their loved ones at heart, Dialog Club Vision continues to deliver a world of exclusivity and privileges such as personalized care, exclusive discounts and offers, lifestyle and entertainment events and more. To explore more exciting offers available for Dialog Club Vision members, and to learn more about Sri Lanka’s premier loyalty programme, customers can visit the MyDialog App or visit dialog.lk/club-vision

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