Sri Lanka ‘pilot census’ to begin in October

Sri Dharanee Performance Arts Theatre

Sept 14, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s statistics office has completed most of the preliminary work to conduct its first island-wide population count in 30-years with a ‘pilot census’ to begin in October, an official said. The census office started piling work a new building in Battaramulla, near Sri Lanka’s parliament Tuesday.

The 62 year old department had administrative problems due to its divisions being scattered around Colombo city due to lack of a central location, official said.

The building is part of a 14 million US dollar World Bank credit that also includes training and capacity building.

Sri Lanka’s census and statistics office has not conducted a nation-wide census since 1981 after a civil war flared in the north and the east of the island. The war ended last May.

“We will conduct the census in July to September 2011,” head of Sri Lanka’s statistics office Suranjana Vidyaratne said.

“We are starting ‘pilot census’ in October. This is like a rehearsal.”

The statistics office is training an 80,000 strong force of people to conduct the census at local government divisions.

The office had now almost completed a process of ‘mapping’, she said.

Census officials will soon