Sri Lanka to felicitate cricketers with commemorative coins

May 10, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to issue commemorative coins to felicitate cricketers, who emerged runners-up in the recently concluded World Cup held in the Caribbean, officials said.

President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the island’s finance minister, has asked Sri Lanka’s Central Bank to begin work on issuing a new coin, his aides said.

“Things are still at a planning stage. We have not worked out the designs yet. Obviously it will have a cricket element,” the head of Central Bank’s currency department A Jeewandara said.

Rajapakse’s office said the president had also expressed interest in giving duty free vehicle permit to the cricketers, who lost the final to Australia in Barbados.

In March, Sri Lanka issued two commemorative World Cup stamps in a bid to boost its cricketers before the tournament began.

The diamond-shaped stamps, worth five rupees (0.05 cents) and 50 rupees (0.5 cents), have been issued by the Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Post and Telecommunications in collaboration with Sri Lanka Cricket.

One million five-rupee stamps and 500,000 50-rupee stamps will soon be available to the public, the Philatelic Bureau said.

In 1996, Sri Lanka issued two commemorative coins to toast the island winning the cricket World Cup in Pakistan.

The 1,000 rupee silver coin was issued as a commemorative edition while the five-rupee coin was issued for circulation. Jeewandara said the bank still has few commemorative silver coins left from the 1996 special edition.