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Over Rs.300 mn spent on Samurdhi ceremonies... Daya Gamage is unable to face parliament - JVP

28 June 2019 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana  

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday charged that Minister of Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Daya Gamage is avoiding Parliament as he is unable to face it because of the exorbitant spending for Samurdi distribution ceremonies.   

JVP Leader Member of Parliament Anura Kumara Dissanayake who raised this issue in Parliament alleged that a sum of Rs.500 has been cut from each Samurdhi recipients for publicity. He said a sum of Rs.300 million has been spent for publicity and to print new T-shirts. “We want Minister Gamage to come and answer to these allegations in Parliament,” Mr. Dissanayake said.   

“We also want him to come and tell us as to which apparel factory the contract to print those T- shirts,” he added.   

Chief Opposition Whip Mahinda Amaraweera who joined the cross talk said the amount wasted for Samurdhi distribution is greater than Rs.300 million.   

UNP MP Chaminda Wijesiri said the opposition should lodge a complaint with the FCID. “One must renumber how Samurdhi was used for politics in the past.   

Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said all he could do in his capacity is informing the Minister to come and answer to the questions raised by the members. “Speaker should take action against the Minister for failing to answer the questions raised under standing orders 27(2).   

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said he had informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the matter.   

However, Mr. Dissanayake said there is no point in informing the Prime Minister, as he would be reluctant to take action against Gamage as he had paid the utility bills for Sirikotha. He said this is the reason why the government is planning to pay compensation to him for the takeover of Sevanagala Sugar factory.   

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