By Yohan Perera
Security forces including the Navy had been infected with Covid-19 as a result of politicisation of the programme to combat the disease, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya ( SJB) alleged yesterday.
SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara told a media conference that more than 400 navy personnel had been infected with Covid-19. “The government should accept the responsibility for this situation,” Mr Madduma Banadara’ said.
“The government carried out the Covid-19 combat programme with the general election in mind. It wanted the elections held as soon as possible. The programme was planned with this objective in mind. This has resulted in nearly 1000 persons getting infected with the disease,” he added.
He said the situation would have been much better if the country was lockedown earlier without waiting till the nominations for the elections were called . “ Why did the government go ahead with the nominations in a situation where schools were closed and public holidays declared. Why were the schools closed and why did the government declare public holidays if there was no need for a lockdown by March 17?” Mr Madduma Bandara questioned.
Former minister Kabir Hashim who also participated in the conference said the government would have cut the salaries of public servants if the opposition kept silent about the request made by Secretary to the President P B Jayasundara to contribute at least a portion of salaries paid to public servants. “ What minister Wimal Weerawansa said about Dr Jayasundara few years ago was correct. “ Mr Hashim said.