Written by Keshala Dias
29 Dec, 2016 | 9:45 am
Small- and medium-scale rice mill owners and the Agrarian Association of the JVP are demanding a just system in the distribution of government paddy stocks.
When the group visited the Paddy Marketing Board, a tense situation erupted. The group were denied permission to meet with the chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board; as a result the group forced their way into the premises.
However, the attempt was foiled by police and an opportunity to discuss the matter with the chairman of the board ensued:
*Namal Karunaratne – National organizer of the All Ceylon Peasants’ Federation
*M.B. Dissanayake – Chairman of the Paddy Marketing Board
Namal Karunaratne : “…We have proof that the stocks’ in the warehouses were sold at 49 rupees a kilogramme. We can prove it. It was the top story on Sirasa TV. This fraud was exposed by Sirasa TV. Yet the rice prices have not reduced and there is no stop to the extortion as well. The system that you adopted is a failure…”
M.B. Dissanayake : “…You came here saying that you want to present facts and hand over a letter. Please give it time. The Paddy Marketing Board is not a Paddy Board. There is a Ministry, a Cabinet and there is a President and a Prime Minister. There needs to be a joint discussion…”
Namal Karunaratne : “…There is massive fraud taking place. You can make a decision …”
M.B. Dissanayake : “…I cannot…”
Namal Karunaratne : “…Why can’t you? Make a phone call. We are suspicious as to why you cannot do that. I wonder if you are getting a cut from that… ‘
M.B. Dissanayake : “…Please present it…”
Namal Karunaratne : “…So why can’t you act on this if you are thinking of the consumers and the farmers. I suspect that you are being given a commission from this…”
M.B. Dissanayake : “…There is a board meeting at 02:00…”.
Namal Karunaratne : “…You are evading this matter. Give us the list. Do not avoid us Mr. Chairman. This is an issue of the people. I think you getting a commission…”
M.B. Dissanayake : “…There is a board. The chairman cannot make decisions alone…”.
16 Feb, 2020 | 03:17 PM
03 Feb, 2020 | 09:25 PM
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