Uproar in Sri Lanka Parliament over South Asian common currency

April 4, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Parliament Wednesday witnessed an uproar over President Mahinda Rajapakse’s proposal for a single currency for SAARC nations.

However, amidst differences over trade, the region continues to clock an average of eight percent economic growth. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded a Parliamentary debate over Rajapakse’s statement at the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) Summit in New Delhi Tuesday.

“We must have a debate in this Parliament over the issue,” Wickremesinghe said adding the President had not discussed the matter with Parliament before hand.

Government legislators responded by asking Wickremesinghe if he had sought Parliament’s approval before entering into a truce agreement with Tamil Tiger rebels in February 2002 (when he was prime minister).

The government rejected Wickremesinghe’s demand for a debate on the issue.

During his opening address at the annual SAARC sessions, Rajapakse said that adopting a single currency would enhance the productivity of the region and improve trade without barriers.

He said while countries, particularly in Euro