Safe Custody

May 21, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run Bank of Ceylon had provided deposit and gold related services of more than 500 million rupees as displaced people in camps in northern Sri Lanka sought the safety of the bank, a top official said. Bank of Ceylon (BoC) chairman Gamini Wickramasinghe, said more than 10,000 people had opened accounts in refugee camps in the last month alone.

He said the bank had over 40,000 accounts inside several camps where more than 200,000 displaced civilians in from former Tamil Tiger controlled territories are now accommodated in northern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka declared the war at end Monday and the body of the group’s leader was shown on TV Tuesday.

Many of the displaced were kept as ‘human shields’ by the Tamil Tigers in the last stages of the fighting.

Most of the cash deposits received by the bank had been in a damaged and soiled condition.

“You can imagine the condition the IDP’s (internally displaced persons) are living in the conflict area and the cash they carry is also in a dilapidated state,” said Wickramasighe.

“Some of the money we get is soaked when we receive it and we have to iron it and take it.”

Wickramasinghe said the bank had collected cash and also conduc