2015 - Sri Lanka - Currency note
Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers

When Mithripala Serisena defeated Mahinda Rajapakse at the presidential elections on 2015 the governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Caabral resigned the nextday. Ravi Karunanayake was appointed Finance Minister of the UNP minority government on January 12th and Arjuna Mahendaran assumed duties as the governor of the Central Bank on January 26th. CBSL issued, for circulation, currency notes with new signatures on the "Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers" theme dated 2015-02-04 with no press announcement.

Photo shows Mr. A. Mahendran placing the specimen signature to be used in currency notes.

This is only the third time since the Sinhala only act of 1956 that anyone signed in English. The only other exceptions are Finance Ministers M. H. M. Nainamarikkar in 1988, and K. N. Choksy in 2001 signing the Currency notes in English. Even CBC governor A. G. Ranasinha who had signed the 1954 note in English, signed the 1956 note in Sinhala. A. Mahendran was the First governor of the Central Bank to sign in English since 1954.

I saw my first note on 2015 May 8th. I have been informed that so far only a Rs 5000/- note was released about mid April 2015.

D. B. Wijetunga was was both Prime Minister and Finance Minister under the Presidency of President Ranasinghe Premadasa. When Premadasa was assassinated by the LTTE on 1993 May 1st he became President and retained the Finance Ministry, an addition to executive power which was continued by President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her first term in office, and adopted by President Mahinda Rajapakse in both his terms. When Ravi Karunaratne became Finance Minister, CBSL was retained under the Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinge. However it is the Finance Minister who represents the government to CBSL as shown on right.

Authorised by the Monetory Board for printing with 2015 date according to CBSL is
DenomiationInitial
Authorized
First
Serial
Last
seen
LastFinal
2015
Increase
2015/16
Rs 2035MW/281W/343W/410130M59.6M
Rs 5020MV/141V/156V/160 20M20.6M
Rs 10050MU/316U/383U/465150M38.1M
Rs 50015MT/116T/125T/130 15M7.3M
Rs100015MS/196S/199S/344150M6.4M
Rs500045MR/41 R/85 R/90 50M22.7M
The real break point of each of the denominations was given in RTI CBSL 11/17 Many notes of Arjuna Mahendra seem to have been printed before change over to new CBSL signature of 2016-07-04 and yet to be released. Last seen serial with Arjuna Mahendra Signature is listed above. They were obtained from CBSL cash counter or from circulation or seen on eBay as of 2017 May 18. The CBSL document currency section static since since 2015 November was updated on 2017 May 15 few days before answer to my RTI CBSL 11/17.

However based on currency in circulation it appears that during the period from 2015 January to 2016 June when Arjuna Mahendra was CBSL governor the Rs5,000 notes in circulation increased by 22.7 Million notes, the Rs 1000 and Rs500 increased by only by 6.4M and 7.3M notes respectively. They were also the last two denominations of notes released by CBSL of the new signature. In 2005, when printing of notes seems to have been changed as soon as MahindaR took over as Finance Minister, we know that printing continued after IndrajitC took over as CBSL Governor. In modern era the 1994 Rs 20, with as much as 6 Million notes printed is extremely rare.