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.

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.

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 2017 May 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.

(CBSL) issued, for circulation, currency notes with new signatures on the "Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers" theme dated 2016-07-04 in 2017 April with no press announcement.

An image of a new Rs50 note was first posted on SLNS list on 2017 April 8th by Methsiri Premawansha who had got it from a Super Market. The next day Brig. Siri Munasingha got some Rs500 notes from an Bank ATM. On April 11th I got new Rs50 from Bank of Ceylon. There had been no announcement by CBSL.

The Rs500 being released is unexpected since very few of 2015 Rs500 notes were released. The prefix T/131 appears to imply that CBSL did print 15M with ArjunaM signature although only 2M has been seen in Circulation for a long time, till I got T/125 around the time new signatures were released..

CBSL did not released a full set into circulation for 2017 Sinhala and Tamil New Year Season. When I visited CBSL on Tuesday 2017 April 11th I was told they had no new signature notes in CBSL cash counter. CBSL webpage which had not been updated since 2015 November, was finally updated on 2017 May 15th in responce to my RTI request 11/17.

Rs 50MV/161V/163V/21550M
Rs 500MT/131T/131T/18250M
Rs5000MR/91 R/ R/12030M

The new notes that move fastest or lowerest lifetime are the Rs20, Rs50, Rs100 Both Rs20 and Rs100 have been minted beyond the initial allocations for 2015-02-04, while the Rs50 was minted as original allocation. The initial issue of the Rs500/- is unexpected as very few notes Rs500 and Rs1000/- with signature Arjuna Mahendra were issued originally.

A new Finance Minister Mr Mangala Samaraweera took office on 2017 May 22 ending this pair of signatures in less than 1 year without the printing of any Rs 20, Rs100 and Rs1000 notes according to RTI 11/17.

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 which was expected in 2017.