Since President Kumaratunga seized the ministries of defense, interior and media in November 2003 and dissolved Parliament and called for snap elections less than three months later in February, the Colombo Stock Exchange has been volatile as investors remain wary. But some financial analysts in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo say it’s too early to tell if the auction block will remain shut.
“Different statements have been made to different audiences,” says Hasitha Premaratne,manager of research at Hatton National Bank Stockholders.“It’s difficult to know what they mean.”
A former civil servant, cabinet minister and sociologist by training,Amunugama has no clear-cut financial background. But that’s not unusual for this nation, which was embroiled in a civil war for nearly 20 years.“There haven’t been many finance ministers with finance backgrounds in this country,” says Chinthaka Panasinght, head of research at John Keels Stockbrokers.“It’s not a tradition.”