Sri Lanka illicit small arms threat to business: survey

June 28, 2008 (LBO) – The proliferation of illicit small arms in Sri Lanka not only fuels crime but has indirect costs on business as well as the environment, a new survey says. It said 9mm pistols were sold in the underworld for 15,000 rupees and T-56 automatic assault rifles for 50,000 – 75,000 rupees while ammunition is also easily available, according to information from criminals and prisoners.

Crimes using small arms can impact the local economy as it is usually the main breadwinner that is injured or killed, affecting the ability of the family to sustain itself economically and exacerbating poverty.

Small arms crime can have indirect costs, said the survey report on the prevalence of illicit small arms in Sri Lanka by the National Commission Against Proliferation of Illicit Small Arms (NCAPISA).

” . . .it can undermine the capacity of forestry and wildlife departments to fulfil their roles with a devastating impact on wild life, including elephants. Another indirect cost is the impact that small arms have in supporting illicit economic activities such as illicit logging and gem mining.”

Illicit small arms are being used to exploit natural resources th