Sri Lanka hikes defence spending for next year

Oct 01, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government plans to allocate 177.1 billion rupees next year for its defence forces whose campaign against the Tamil Tigers is intensifying, according to the appropriation bill published by the finance ministry.

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Most of the money is going for daily operations and to meet the wages bill of the security forces.

The defence ministry, under which come the security forces, gets 18.7 billion rupees as capital expenditure and 158.4 billion rupees as recurrent expenditure in 2009.

The government’s allocation for the ministry in 2008 had been 166.44 billion rupees.

In the 2009 allocations for operational activities, the bulk of funds is for the army which gets 78.3 billion rupees for recurrent expenditure and 5.6 billion for capital spending.

Army troops are now engaged in heavy fighting with the Tigers and have begun laying siege on a key northern base in Kilinochchi.

The navy, which is responsible for fighting the Sea Tiger rebel naval arm and preventing Tiger arms shipments, has been allocated 22.6 billion rupees for recurrent expenditure and 4.9 billion rupees for capital