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Report finds Tamil areas in Sri Lanka are pockets of poverty

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 07:33 GMT, Feb 20, 2016 |
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Regions with the highest rate of poverty in Sri Lanka are areas inhabited by Tamils, according to a study of the World Bank.

The regions come under the districts of Mannar, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi in the Northern Province; Batticaloa in the East and plantations in Badulla district (Uva Province) and Nuwara Eliya (Central Province). One Sinhala-dominated region the study has identified as having a high rate of poverty is the Monaragala district, The Hindu newspaper reported.

Going by Sri Lanka’s national poverty line of about $1.50 per day (Purchasing Power Parity in 2005), the poverty headcount rates of Mullaitivu, Mannar and Kilinochchi are 28.8 per cent, 20.1 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively.

If one were to apply the international poverty line of $2.5 per day, the figures in these three districts are 74.4 per cent, 60.9 per cent and 57.2 per cent respectively.

With respect to the estates, the poverty headcount rate is 10.9 per cent, as per the Sri Lanka’s national poverty line and this goes up to 50.6 per cent under the international poverty line.

Though the World Bank has not specifically given the figure of Batticaloa, a 2014 publication of the Department of Census and Statistics of the Sri Lankan government mentioned that the figure (as in 2012-2013) was 19.4 per cent.