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Parliament heated up over food scarcity among school children

22 September 2022 03:45 pm - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Heated argument erupted in Parliament today when opposition MPs charged that schoolchildren are facing serious issues without being able to get proper meal and that the government has been unable to provide them meals with nutritious value.

SLPP MP KPS Kumarasiri told Parliament that about 20 schoolchildren in three schools in Vilachchiya, Anuradhapura had fainted during school hours due to starvation and that a child in Minuwangoda had brought kernel of young coconut for lunch.

Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said media and some officials had given unnecessary hype to several isolated incidents and trying to generalise the issue.

"We admit that there is an issue. But, we can't generalise the issue based on these isolated incidents. I personally contacted the principal of the school in Minuwangoda and she denied that nothing has happened as such. I will look into the incident in Vilachchiya," he said.

The Minister said some officials with vested interests were fabricating and magnifying the situation and added that the claim made by a doctor in Hambantota that malnutrition was observed among 80% among the school children in Hambantota was found to be baseless.

"The area health officials have officially informed me that malnutrition among children in Hambantota is only 5% percent," he said.

SJB MP Harshana Rajakaruna said to admit the ground situation and find solutions without accusing officials.

"The impact of this issue will be felt in the long term. We must feed the children before spending money on inducting new ministers and state ministers," he said.

Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma said about 1.1 million school children have been affected for two years after the programme to provide free meals to school children were stopped.

"In some schools, rice banks have been set up by the principals and teachers. The government has been unable to provide free meal to school children for the last two years," he said. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)

 

 


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  Comments - 8

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  • Amaris Silva Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:08 PM

    The Education Minister has gone on a joy ride to the US when these issues are being taken up in Parliament ?

    LAN Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:17 PM

    It is very sad to know this ... Who took this country to this level of poverty .?. What really happened ? Why people have to suffer? What went wrong ? These are some puzzling questions.. Really it is mere mismanagement and unqualified people did all this for our community. How did they do ? Some of our politicians are conned by some foreign powers . how on earth our politicians agreed to some unsustainable Mega projects? All these mega projects have taken this country into bankruptcy. How and why ? Entire nation knows that . All those unsustainable projects do not feed people .. Neither these projects benefit us . In return; we need to pay back all loans and interest . Who is responsible to this ? Will our judiciary take them into court ? Now people are starving and who starve them ? Why they can't accept their mistakes and ask a public apology

    Volker Metzger Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:46 PM

    It is truly a shame for Sri Lanka that it is not able to provide the school children with the necessary food for their development free of charge ! And the ,,good buddhist politicians,, are not ready and willing to solve the problem with generous donations !? What has become of the teachings of Buddha and Buddhism in Sri Lanka !!!???

    Roisin Thursday, 22 September 2022 04:56 PM

    Do something about it, for Godsake! Instead of arguing about it. Remember that you are the servants of those poor children. And you are the most rich people of our country.

    Food first religious place last Thursday, 22 September 2022 05:54 PM

    I don't trust SJB or Dullas motivations. I heard they have behind the scene talk with support religious group leader for them to have V8 and want government to give free fuel to head monks of each religious place too. Otherwise that they plan to demand for free electric car for religions place leader. The SJB may be causing problem with support from SJB supporting official with promise of bring forward their allowance permit for electric car too. Nothing is beyond person getting paid by printed money. That is both state employee and MP too. MP also get all allowance provided by printed money. They are all taking away affordability of the public with spending their printed money incomes.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Thursday, 22 September 2022 09:01 PM

    All the politicians and officials were responsible for the current begging bowel of Sri Lanka, just blaming the government is not fair, how many of you have not paid electricity, water bills, not declared your assets, not paying income tax, atleast now try to be patriotic parliamentarians by not defaulting your dues.

    I say what I want say. Thursday, 22 September 2022 10:18 PM

    "I have to say, what I have to say!" This is the subject I understand, so "I have to say, what I have to say!" But I don't have prove anything, but "I can say, what I want to say!" What do you call this mental patients?

    Volker Metzger Friday, 23 September 2022 10:36 AM

    It is truly a shame for Sri Lanka that it is not able to provide the school children with the necessary food for their development free of charge ! And the ,,good buddhist politicians,, are not ready and willing to solve the problem with generous donations !!! What has become the teachings of Buddha and Buddhism in Sri Lanka !!!???


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