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Sri Lanka to Reduce Military Size by a Third

Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence has announced plans to reduce its number of military personnel by a third starting next year.

The move aims to slash the operational costs of the armed forces as the country continues to experience a deep economic crisis.

The Sri Lankan army, which currently has 200,783 personnel, will be reduced to 135,000 by 2024 and 100,000 by 2030.

According to the ministry, the reduction would allow for the buildup of a “technically and tactically sound” and “well-balanced” defense force.

“Military spending is basically state-borne expenditure which indirectly stimulates and opens avenues for economic growth by way of assuring national and human security,” state minister of defense Pramitha Bandara Tennakoo said, as quoted by Reuters.


The Sri Lankan government has been forced to cut back on its national expenditures because of bankruptcy.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has increased taxes and imposed harsh spending cuts.

The country’s total budget allocation for defense has also been reduced to 539 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($6.6 billion).

However, the annual defense budget is still significantly higher than the budget for health and education, which are only 300 billion rupees ($3.6 billion) each.

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