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* 500,000 new members in Sri Lanka's cooperative movement
Mon, Jul 4, 2011, 09:48 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade says that 500,000 new members have joined the cooperative societies around the country within less than two months.

The membership drive was launched in May this year by the Ministry to mark the 100th anniversary of the cooperative movement in the country.

Sri Lanka's cooperative movement that was legally established in 1911 was a major player in the economy until the economy was opened in 1977 paving way to the decay of many of the cooperative societies.

However, the Mahinda Rajapaksa government provided assistance to the cooperative societies to launch initiatives that are capable to compete with the private sector, a Ministry spokesman said.

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