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Sri Lanka President says divine help brought rain

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena credited his spiritual drive for bringining heavy rains that effectively ended what could have been the worst drought in decades.

Sirisena told a Buddhist temple ceremony in Colombo on Wednesday that he mobilised all temples across the country with appeals to monks to organise religious events to invoke divine blessings to end the drought.

"While asking temples and other religious leaders to pray for rain, I also took measures to mitigate the effects of the drought," the president said. "It is the spiritual campaign that helped end the drought and bring rains."

On Wednesday, Sirisena had to turn back at Anuradhapura unable to reach his destination Mullaittivu because of heavy monsoon rains.

However the Meterological Department has consistently said 2016 was a drought year which was attributed a phenomenon known as Indian Ocean Dipole negative phase, and that normal rains could be expected in 2017. However even in 2017, the volatility in rainfall could be high which is a phenomenon seen in recent year.

(COLOMBO, January 26, 2017)

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