Written by Staff Writer
30 May, 2019 | 9:33 pm
Colombo (News 1st): The inauguration ceremony of the program to induct 600,000 families into the Samurdhi Beneficiary Scheme was held today (May 30) at the premises of the G.H. Weerasinghe Grounds in Ampara.
The Ampara town and adjoining areas were decorated heavily for the ceremony, which was held under the auspices of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The Samurdhi Benefit will be awarded to low income earning families, identified from all 25 districts.
While 20,600 families from the Ampara district will be awarded the Samurdhi Benefit, 5,000 families were awarded Samurdhi certificates at the ceremony to signify the commencement of the program.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that several other suicide bombers from Zahran’s faction were out in the open, but they were apprehended and those who aided in these terror attacks have also been arrested. He noted that the security forces have been successful in controlling this situation and those forces have been decimated.
However, the premier went onto note that they cannot be complacent with the situation because such a team can be formed again. He re-iterated that the laws in place are insufficient and that there are laws which would enable them to record bio metrics.
The Prime Minister said such laws should be approved as soon as possible and the existence of a law alone is inadequate if they cannot restructure it according to their requirements.
Minister of Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Daya Gamage speaking at the event said;
“Look at the t-shirt I have given you. In it, it says, ” Let’s think new” and also ” Let’s rise with courage”. Some ask me why I spent money printing t-shirts. My name has not been printed on any of these t-shirts. However, these slogans have been printed on them because I aspire to change the mentality of the people. Our government will strive to foster an environment where the people can rise through their own courage.”
Nonetheless, the All Ceylon Samurdhi Development Officers Association points out that the Samurdhi Scheme is marred in discrepancies.
Chairman of the All Ceylon Samurdhi Development Officers’ Association N.A.I.B. Abeysinghe noted that the Director-General along with his henchmen had issued a circular requesting money from the Samurdhi Banks to direct Rs 500 each to the account of the district director of the Samurdhi scheme in order to allocate it to organise this ceremony and to provide the attendees with refreshments, t-shirts, caps and so on.
He added that they have raised more than Rs. 300 million, with the intention of misappropriating the surplus funds. He said they will lodge a complaint at the Police Headquarters by Monday and file a case.
Secretary of the same Association B.H.V.Basnayake said the people whom this Rs. 300 million is being spent on, are not their members. He noted they do not have any provisions from the Divi Naguma Act to allocate funds for these so-called Samurdhi beneficiaries from the Community Based Samurdhi Bank.
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