2016 - Sri Lanka - Currency note
Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers

Dr Idrajit Coomaraswamy was appointed the Governor of the Centarl Bank on 2016 July 4th by president Mithripala Serisena on temination of the term of Arjuna Mahendran on 2016 June 30th. Arjuna Mahendran had served only the remainder of the six year term of Ajith Nivard Caabral, and did not seek a new term consequent to an alleged Bond Scam.

(CBSL) is expected to issue, for circulation, currency notes with new signatures on the "Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers" theme dated 2016-07-04.

Photo shows Dr. Idrajit Coomaraswamy placing the specimen signature to be used in currency notes.

In early July 2016 I was told by a realiable source that DeLaRu was still printing notes with the old CBSL governors signature. However in late August 2016 I was told that DeLaRu had started printing Notes with new CBSL govenors signature. Authorised by the Monetory Board for printing after 2010 date according to CBSL is
Rs 2035MW/281W/32545M59.6M
Rs 5020MV/141V/15616M20.6M
Rs 10050MU/316U/36852M38.1M
Rs 50025MT/116T/1172M 7.3M
Rs100015MS/196S/1961M 6.4M
Rs500045MR/41 R/69 29M22.7M
The break point of each of the denominations is still not known. How much of each denomination has got allocated to new CBSL signature is still unknown and would need to await that issue. Last seen serial with Arjuna Mahendra Signature is listed above. They were obtained from CBSL cash counter or from circulation as of 2017 March 20. Note that for the Rs20 and Rs100 it has exceeded the Serial number listed in CBSL document which has not been updated since late 2015. This gives minimum number that has been printed with Arjuna Mahendra signature. There could be much more printed and not released by CBSL.

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. So maybe with sufficient stock of older 2010 notes printed, CBSL may have given only a nominal order of 2015 notes. If maybe only a million or two each of the 2015 Rs 1000 and Rs 500 were printed they could become rare collector notes. Realistically the minimum order is probably 5M as all orders since 2005 were in multiples of 5M, and unlike 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.

When CBSL releases new signatures to circulation there should be a Press Release from CBSL to inform public of any change to the currency in circulation. This was not done previously in 2014 when the thickness of the New 2010 notes was increased for the Rs 20,50,and 100 denominations using the same date, nor when the signatures were changed in 2015-02-04 issue.

I hope they will be also made available to collectors like the 2010 issue which in 2016 September are the ones still being sold from the CBSL currency Museum. There is no mention of new signature in CBSL Museum which should have the responsibility to give the latest information to the public and collectors on coin and currency issue of Sri Lanka.

In 2011 when CBSL released the 2010 currency series, notes for collectors were issued in individual folders as well as folder packs of 6 notes, one each of the six denominations with similar serial numbers. The pack was popular and sold out fast. The 2015 notes released with no CBSL press release and it was many months before collectors were able to get one for their collection.

A media report over four year ago in 2012 September said that CBSL has given a written undertaking to include the words "this currency note issued on behalf the Government of Sri Lanka is valid for any financial transaction within Sri Lanka" in the Tamil and English language and provide equal prominence to all three languages when issuing currency notes in future. This has not yet been implemented, and will probabaly be done with a new series in 2017.