Eran blames Rajapaksa followers for protesting “Asvasuma” social benefit programme
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Eran Wickramaratne M.P. said that it is ridiculous that Rajapaksa followers are going against their own government and standing up for the people who are protesting against the government, for being omitted from the new welfare benefit scheme Äsvasuma.
Mr. Wickramaratna, who addressed the press conference at the opposition leader’s office in Colombo on Wednesday, said that the Rajapaksa rule bankrupted the country during its tenure with their ignorance in policy and governance, has resulted in the number of poor people in the country, approx. 4 million in 2019, to now exceed 7 million. Further commenting, Mr. Wickramaratne said that the poor had become poorer when Janasaviya, meant to eradicate poverty, was turned into a project that would sow votes for them.
Government MPs who gained power by selling poverty through the Samurdhi scheme are now using various tactics to get closer to the people – they brag about coming to power again. Mr. Wickramaratna said that the people will never forget the destruction caused to the country by Rajapaksa’s. For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, coconuts were sold by measuring the girth and eggs were sold by weight – by the Rajapaksa government.
A key failure of Samurdhi was the selection process. The opposition’s standpoint is that a selection process must not be involved and that a scientific approach must be adopted. A selection process by default is politicised and the absence of a ‘selection process’ results in 80% of the job-done. A scientific approach and one that is being proposed by the opposition is assessment based on electricity consumption devoid of manual intervention.
The government says that Aswasuma will be given to 2 million people, but, it is yet to be known how this will be achieved.
“Samagi Jana Balawegaya is ready for any election – the government could hold any election, if the country is on the path of development as the government claims” he said.
Eran Wickramaratne emphasised that Rajapaksas who bankrupted the county are now giving direction on how best to move the country forward and that it is clear that those speaking against people being deprived of Samurdhi benefits, are pursuing their own agenda for power.