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2012 budget fosters militarisation

Sri Lanka's 2012 budget reveals further proposals to aid security forces and encourage the expansion of their families.

The reading of the budget, by Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday to parliament, was interrupted by an altercation between MPs. UNP MPs holding placards criticising the proposals were assaulted by government MPs.

Measures aimed at the military included a one-off cash grant of 100,000 rupees, to any military or police officer who parented a third child.

Arguing that Sri Lanka's military work towards fostering democracy and must be rewards, Rajapaksa defended the proposal as a mark of a "caring society".

Key points, relating to the military, from Sri Lanka's 2012 budget:

  • A monthly allowance of Rs. 750 to each of the parents of members of the security forces
  • A special loan scheme ‘Ranaviru Divi Neguma’ for the benefit of disabled soldiers, to be engaged in self employment
  • A sum of Rs. 14,000 million has been allocated in this Budget to meet the monthly allowance  aid to all disabled soldiers.
  • It is  proposed to extend the application of the proposal that was announced in the last Budget to grant Rs.100,000 at the birth of the third child of any member of the security forces, to those who are serving in the Police force as well

Despite claiming victory over two years ago, Sri Lanka continues to fund an expansive military. 

  • Of 230 billion rupees allocated to defense, 203 billion or 88 percent will be spent on salaries, food and uniforms.

Responding to increasing pressure the IMF, Monday's budget announcement also revealed that the currency would be devalued by 3%.

See here for analysis by Financial Times.

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