fifty years ago October 28, 1970 Archives

From the Archives (October 28, 1970): Ceylon under emergency

The Ceylon Government today [October 27, Colombo] declared a state of emergency to arm itself with the power to call out military to provide maximum security as people rushed to banks to ex-change demonetised notes. Armed police and troops stood by as banks opened after a two-day enforced holiday. Indians holding temporary residence permits are being questioned by police and tax authorities as they try to change currency notes. Press reports said that well-known shops owned by temporary residence permit holders put up their shutters in their effort to dispose of currency hoards. Several Indians are being questioned by police following the arrest of a shop-owner while trying to exchange Rs. 1.5 lakhs in currency notes. Nevertheless, some 1,100 currency hoarders continued to buy currency notes rather than surrender them to the Government, the reports added. Textile shops alone reported sale of Rs. 4.5 lakhs yesterday. There was heavy rush in almost all commercial banks from the early morning to-day. The people’s anxiety to change whatever was left with them of hundred rupee and 50 rupee currency notes was evident from the long queues before banks. The anxiety reached feverish levels when shops and commercial firms refused to accept these high denomination currencies although these currency notes are legal tender upto November 3. Deepavali purchases were affected by the refusal of shops to accept these currency notes and with just two days before Deepavali a number of people were seen before banks with even two or three currency notes. New currency notes of Rs. 100 and 50 value amounting to Rs. eight crores have been rushed from the United Kingdom to give in exchange for old currency notes.

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