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Thursday, 5 January 2012






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Census reaches final stage

The first country-wide census in 30 years will be completed in 2012, the Census and Statistics Department announced yesterday.

The final stage of the three stage 'Census of Population and Housing of Sri Lanka' will be carried out during the three week period from February 27 to March 19. The Rs 1,700 million cost of conducting the Census is borne entirely by the government.

The UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF are assisting the government in this exercise. The 'mapping' stage of the Census was completed in 2010, the 'listing of buildings' stage was completed in 2011. The 'enumerating' stage which is the third and final stage of the Census will be completed in March 2012.

Information on population trends, housing, availability of utilities, education level of the population, migration trends collected through the census is vital for planning government programmes at every level and instrumental to development activities.

Census and Statistics Department Director General D B P Suranjana Vidyaratne said addressing the media adding that the cooperation of the public is essential in making the census successful.

She said that over 80,000 officials are being trained from around the country while another 16,000 Grama Niladharis are being trained to supervise activities.

Special identity cards have been issued to enumerators to make it easy for the public to identify them.

The secrecy of information collected through the census is protected by law. The Director General emphasized that the information collected by the Department on individuals have never been and never will be shared with any other government agency or private organization. She said that the data collected will be used as aggregate statistics where the grama niladhari division is the smallest unit.

While all previous census were carried out over one night, this years census will be carried out over a three week period.

The Director General said that it is essential that every person is counted in the census while ensuring that the same individual is not counted twice.

Speaking further about the 2012 census, the Director General said that a number of questions are introduced for the first time in this year's survey.

They include questions on computer literacy, access to Internet and waste disposal. The entire survey consists of 29 questions.

The Census Ordinance makes it a legal obligation for people to provide accurate information at the census.

However Vidyaratne said that the Census and Statistics Department has always received the goodwill and cooperation of the public in the past and hoped for same in this year's Census.



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