Written by Staff Writer
04 May, 2020 | 9:34 pm
COLOMBO (News1st): Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has told a meeting with former lawmakers on Monday that the country is yet to receive financial foreign aid to support its battle against the coronavirus.
Sri Lanka has not yet received a 172 million dollar loan from the World Bank, despite inking an agreement, the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement citing finance secretary S.R. Attygalle who had clarified the matter during the meeting.
“These funds would be used to cover the expenses of the health ministry and the programme to combat COVID-19. The health ministry has already received foreign aid in the form of medical supplies,” the statement read.
The meeting at Temple Trees – the Prime Minister’s official residence, had been attended by former lawmakers of 16 political parties and senior state officials including those from the health and defence sectors.
Three opposition parties boycotted the meeting, urging the President to reconvene Parliament, informing in advance that the discussion is a “futile exercise”.
The Prime Minister’s Office said that the need to scale up COVID-19 testing in the country had figured during the meeting.
“A majority of the former parliamentarians had said that they could donate their pensions for a month in this regard,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, former lawmakers from the northern and eastern regions had requested the government to increase the relief provided to the people in their areas.
They had also made a request to allow the people of these regions who are stranded at boarding houses in other parts of the country, to return to their homes.
“The police chief pointed out that a programme is being implemented to facilitate the return of more than 53,000 people from areas such as Colombo,” the Prime Minister’s office noted.
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