New CHOGM Rs. 500 currency note
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) on 2013 November 15th issued a slightly modified Rs. 500 currency note as a commemorative to mark the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka.
The size and design of the Commemorative note are same with only the CHOGM 2013 Sri Lanka logo in single purple colour replacing the butterfly at the lower left corner of the note, and a new date of issue 2013.11.15. The vertical 500 of the water mark has an additional design on either side to enhance security features. CBSL has already printed 50 million of the current 2010 Rs500 note and the 5 million commemoratives will have serial prefix T/51 to T/55.
Host countries of previous CHOGMs have also issued such commemorative numismatic items. In 2007 the Bank of Uganda issued a sh10,000, and in 2009 Trinidad And Tobago a $100 Currency Notes. In 2011 the Royal Australian Mint issued a one dollar coin. The Sri Lankan note appears to be a rush job since final approval from the Monetary Board only happened after August when a rumour of this note first circulated. Printing the logo in only purple was probably done modifying the final Purple Integlo print rather than four plates required for a multicolor logo.
A media report over an year ago in 2012 September, said the CB 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 Tamil and English and provide equal prominence to all three languages when issuing currency notes in future. This has not yet been implemented. On Friday 15th, an attractive limited edition Currency Folder with early serial numbers, was sold for Rs. 800 at the new CB Economic History Museum at the Centre Point in Fort. The CB Museum in Rajagiriya is now closed after renovation just four years ago. The Centre Point Building has been beautifully renovated by the CB. Located next to the Light House clock tower at 54 Chatham Street, it was opened by the President on November 11th. The Museum looks modern, but the display put up in just one weekend, needs to be rearranged properly.
A 150 page book titled “From Purana to the Rupee” published by the CB and sold at the Museum does not appear to have been proof-read by anyone competent in Lankan history or Numismatics.