Sri Lanka signs off on record war spending

[ Reuters ]

Sri Lanka’s parliament on Monday voted 126-84 to approve a 2009 budget that includes record defence spending for the war against Tamil Tiger rebels, high import taxes and a string of populist measures. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s budget passed despite a no-confidence motion brought by the main opposition United National Party, which accused his government of mishandling oil hedges that could cost Sri Lanka hundreds of millions of dollars. Defence spending was forecast to grow as much as a fifth to 200 billion rupees ($1.81 billion), while the gross foreign borrowing is expected to rise 17.7 percent to 222.5 billion Sri Lanka rupees ($2.02 billion).

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