Sri Lanka revokes emergency with President Rajapaksa facing calls to quit
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa revoked emergency rule within days of imposing it as the escalating political crisis makes it tougher for Sri Lanka to agree a much-needed financial bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
The proclamation that took effect April 1 is repealed as of midnight April 5, Rajapaksa said in an extraordinary gazette late Tuesday. Imposing Emergency had given Rajapaksa sweeping powers to detain protesters and seize property, but he also faced mounting calls from lawmakers to step down.
Eleven parties within the ruling coalition said in parliament Tuesday that they would function as independent lawmakers and some members of Rajapaksa’s party will distance themselves from the government, putting a simple majority in the 225-seat legislature in doubt. An eroded cabinet following mass resignations -- including the Finance Minister -- limits his ability to negotiate with foreign bondholders a debt restructure that’s key for IMF support.
The IMF is monitoring political and economic developments in Sri Lanka “very closely,” Reuters reported Tuesday citing the multilateral lender’s Sri Lanka Mission Chief Masahiro Nozaki, before the nation’s finance minister quit within a day of being sworn in.
The extra yield investors demand to hold Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt, on average, over U.S. Treasuries widened by 76 basis points on Tuesday to 30.06 percentage points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. data, well above the 10-percentage point threshold for distressed debt.
Global asset managers including Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price Group are staring down the risk of default. Holders for which data is available are estimated to own 4% of the outstanding debt, and the amounts would constitute a small portion of the firms’ overall assets.
Opposition groups had previously rejected overtures from the president to join an interim government after the entire cabinet resigned following street protests by citizens. They want to see a change to the country’s constitution that will limit Rajapaksa’s wide-ranging executive powers, which include calling for elections mid-way through a five-year parliament term and appointing and firing government officials and judges.
Diana Villanueva's wasn't greeted by the crowds of protestors who often gather outside facilities in the United States to try to persuade women to change their minds. After you go through what you go through then you ponder what you did. That's when the remorse starts kicking in." "A lot of those ladies say: 'It's my body, my choice'. It's not your body; your body belongs to Christ."
A spying attempt on former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has been foiled, Pakistan's ARY News reported. An employee was allegedly paid to install a device in the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief's bedroom. PTI leader Shehbaz Gill claimed that an employee who cleans the former prime minister's room was paid to install the spy device, terming the act heinous and unfortunate. The PTI leader alleged.
The Hambantota Port is located in southern Sri Lanka close to the east-west sea route. Its construction began in 2008 which was funded through Chinese loans of about US$ 1.3 billion. The construction was carried out by a joint venture of China Harbor Engineering Company and the Sino Hydro Corporation. By 2016, the Hambantota Port under the ownership of Sri Lanka Ports Authority had incurred losses of about SLR 46.7 billion.
A US navy destroyer sunk during World War II has been found nearly 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) below sea level off the Philippines, making it the world's deepest shipwreck ever located, an American exploration team said. A crewed submersible filmed, photographed and surveyed the battered hull of the "Sammy B" during a series of dives over eight days this month, Texas-based undersea technology company Caladan Oceanic said.
Afghanistan's Taliban administration on Saturday called on international governments to roll back sanctions and lift a freeze on central bank assets following the earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and left thousands homeless. The 6.1-magnitude quake that struck the east of the country early on Wednesday destroyed or damaged 10,000 homes and injured about 2,000 people, straining the country's fragile health system and posing a major test for the ruling Taliban.