Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake said at a media briefing yesterday (15) that what he has said in parliament earlier was that Sri Lanka needed to look into the prevailing similar circumstances that made India demonetize its high-value bills.
However, a possibility of demonetization was hinted when he spoke about currency notes worth Rs. 13 billion reportedly released by the Central Bank two days prior to elections during the previous regime.
During the House debate on the votes of his ministry, Karunanayake said the serial numbers of the Rs. 5,000 notes being spent by the joint opposition on its protest rallies did not tally with the notes presently in circulation.
Later at the media briefing, he said what he has said did not mean that the notes would be demonetized.
Asked if he believed those to be fakes, he said he could not say so with responsibility, but that he believed the media would understand what he was trying to say by that.
Karunanayake said that on orders from the top, the FCID was carrying out investigations into the matter, including the currency notes taken away by lorry after their release by the CB.