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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2524

On the population statistics – a clarification by Washington S.L.Embassy

Washington DC, 28 June, (Asiantribune.com): Counselor for Information of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington confirms the accuracy of the statistics used by Ambassador Bernard Goonatilake in his interview with WCCATV13.

According to the statement of the Counselor Information, “The comments elicited from Asian Tribune readers to the article titled, 'LTTE demand for 30% landmass for 6% of a population is utterly impracticable - Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke,' published on June 19, 2008, indicate that some readers believe Ambassador Goonetilleke has used inaccurate statistics with regard to population figures, in his interview with WCCATV13.

It went on to add, “We wish to clarify the statistics provided by the Ambassador in the course of his analysis.

“According to the census of 1981, carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics in Sri Lanka, the 15 million population in the country at the time, comprised 73.98% Sinhalese, 12.6% Sri Lankan Tamils, 7.12% Moors, 5.56%Indian Tamils, 0.29% Malays, and 0.26% Burghers (descendants of the Portuguese and Dutch), and others 0.20%.

“According to provisional data of the census carried out in 2001, the population comprised 73.8% Sinhalese, 3.9% Sri Lankan Tamils, 4.6% Indian Tamils, Sri 7.2% Lankan Moors, 0.5% others and 10% unspecified.

“The noticeable discrepancy in the percentages of Sri Lanka Tamils in 1981 and 2001, is due to the fact that in 2001, census enumeration was not completed in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Killinochchi, Batticaloa and Trincomalee, and as a result, the population statistics of these districts included in the 2001 census, are incomplete. This is the reason for the low percentage of Sri Lanka Tamils as stated in the CIA World Factbook of 2001. Sri Lanka

However, according to estimates of the Department of Census and Statistics, of the country’s population as a whole in 2001, Sinhalese, Sri Lanka Tamil, Indian Tamil and Sri Lanka Moor population comprised 74.5%, 11.9%, 4.6% and 8.3% respectively.

Table 2 : Percentage distribution of population by district and age ...
“Therefore, the statistics quoted by the Ambassador are based on Sri Lanka’s official estimate of population figures, as determined by the Department of Census and Statistics.

- Asian Tribune –

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LTTE demand for 30 % landmass for 6% of a population is utterly impracticable - Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke

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