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Defense News - Sri Lanka

 
 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 08:31 AM

 
Sri Lanka increases its defense budget with 1.92 billion U.S. dollars for 2012.

Sri Lanka's parliament passed the highest ever defense budget for 2012 despite the country ending a three decade war in 2009, an official said here on Monday, December 19, 2011.

     
Sri Lanka's parliament passed the highest ever defense budget for 2012 despite the country ending a three decade war in 2009, an official said here on Monday, December 19, 2011.
Sri Lanka army soldiers during military parade in the city of Colombo
     

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the 2012 Budget to parliament on Nov. 21. In it were recommendations to increase the defense budget from 215 billion rupees (about 1.92 billion U.S. dollars) in 2011 to 230 billion rupees (about 2.1 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012.

The government has justified the amount by insisting that it is needed to maintain over 200,000 personnel and pay back loans that funded arms procurement during the brutal war that ended two years ago.

The government has also joined the Urban Development Authority under the Defense Ministry in a bid to upgrade administration and fast track development.

However, critics charge that this is militarization of civil power and gives more control to the Defense Secretary, who is also the brother of the president.

Parliament passed the 2012 defense expenditure with a majority of 91 votes in parliament. The opposition parties didn't present at the time of voting, said Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.

"It is clear from the lack of opposition protest that large defense expenditure, despite the end of the war has become normal in Sri Lanka," said a report by media research organization Verite.

 

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