Sri Lanka can earn foreign exchange from stars: Prime Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – One should not be a slave to the stars but Sri Lanka had the potential to earn foreign exchange from astrological services, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

"The commissioner of elections decides the day of the elections, not astrology," Prime Minister Wickremesinghe told reporters in Colombo Thursday.

"Astrology is subject we should pay attention to but we cannot be enslaved by it. If the Lord Buddha was not enslaved by it, how can we be?"

"But I think it can be a good way to earn revenues from abroad, if it is done right. In Chennai the charge is 200 dollars for a reading."

According to Wickremesinghe’s manifesto for upcoming polls, an "international level astrological centre" will be set up in Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister’s comments came as the rupee is coming under pressure in forex markets amid strong deficit driven domestic credit growth and low interest rates which had also spooked foreign investors.

Authorities dropped the intervention rate by 10 cents to 133.90 rupees from 133.80 to the US dollar in forex markets today.

Sri Lanka’s politicians place great faith in astrology and ousted President Rajapaksa reportedly dissolved parliament and went for early elections at auspicious times.

His then ‘Royal Astrologer’, Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena said that the roots of the defeat lay in accepting the position as chair of the Commonwealth

The last chair before Rajapakse was Julia Gillard who was unseated as Australia’s premier after hosting the Commonwealth Summit in 2011.

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"That office is a crown with thorns. I told him not to take it," Abeygunawardena told AFP. "See what happened to Gillard? The same thing happened to Our Sir."

Sri Lanka also has witchdoctors, who practice an ancient craft which may pre-date formal Buddhist and Hindu beliefs prevalent in South Asia. (Colombo/Aug13/2015 – Update II)

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