Sri Lanka puts the clock back after 10 years

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Mar 04 (AFP) – Sri Lanka will put the clock back by half an hour and revert to its original time after a 10 year experiment that failed to save energy through marginal day light saving, state radio announced Saturday. President Mahinda Rajapakse ordered that Sri Lanka reverts to its original standard time which was five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) which the country maintained till May 1996.

“The change will take place from the Tamil and Sinhala New Year on April 13,” the SLBC radio said. “The president made the order after complaints from parents that school children were inconvenienced by the new time.”

Faced with a severe electricity crisis in May 1996, the then government advanced the clock by an hour and by October that year brought it back by half hour to put Sri Lanka six hours ahead of GMT.

The island would now return to 5.30 ahead of GMT and be on the same time zone as its giant neighbour India.

Even as the government in 1996 advanced the clock, the Tamil Tiger rebels who control large parts of the island’s north-east did not accept it leading to two de facto time zones with the country.

Sri Lanka reverting back to its old time zone would have implications for