Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Anura Kumara Dissanayake accused that the President who came to power to change the systems, is driving the country towards destructive changes instead of changes for the wellbeing of the country.
The Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Anura Kumara Dissanayake was expressing his views at a media briefing, held at the JVP Head Office in Battaramulla on Saturday (23) where he further stated
Its biggest devastating impact has been over agriculture, farmers and the country's food security. On April 28, the Cabinet decided to stop chemical inputs.
Although a gazette notification was issued on the 6th May, these decisions were taken without any investigation into the possible destruction, plan or any program. Farmers have given up farming. There was a turmoil situation in the recent meetings held by farmers. Thousands of farmers are protesting on this issue.
This is because the transition from chemical inputs to organic inputs takes considerable time. Then the government decided to import organic fertilizer. But the government changed everything and instructed the Standards Institution to set a standard for the importation of organic fertilizer. Accordingly an order was placed with Qingdao Company of China to import 96,000 metric tons of fertilizer.
Our country is an island. Therefore, invasive plants and animals should be prevented from entering our country. For that purpose the Plant Quarantine Act was amended in 1999. Plant Quarantine Institute suspended importing organic fertilizer from China because the sample provided by the Company contained very harmful microorganisms.
There was then a controversy that the ship had been turned back due to this reason. However, on October 22, Qingdao Company had sent a letter to the Director General of Agriculture, the Secretary to the President, the Secretary to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ambassadors to China and Sri Lanka stating that the ship would arrive at the Port of Colombo on the 22nd. This is a forced attempt. The imports to our country are decided by our own authority and not by a China's Company.
The Director General of Agriculture has instructed the Chairman of the Ports Authority not to allow this ship to enter the Port of Colombo and not to allow it to be anchored in the vicinity.
Then the government decided to import Nano urea. Accordingly, for the first time in history Nano urea was airlifted to Sri Lanka. A number of Ministers went to the Airport to welcome consignment. Since this input had never been used in our country, the product had to be tested in due climatic zones and on crops.
According to the reports we have received, this input was tested in India in recent June after which it was used for cultivation in India. Permission was granted to export this input from India in August. So the import of Nano urea has caused a lot of confusion.
The Speaker has also stated that his Tea Estate has been damaged by using this input. State Minister Vdura Wickremanayake had instructed Parliamentarians to submit a petition to the President with their signatures. That is the truth. The President as an individual is making arbitrary fraudulent decisions. Hence these disastrous decisions should be changed.
Nobody is refusing the use of organic fertilizer cultivation. But the President's Policy Statement itself stated that it will take at least 10 years to transit from chemical to organic fertilizers. The President has taken this stupid decision abandoning all that.
He is making certain changes. He is permitting to import pesticides and herbicides. Hence the solutions should be given to this crisis by considering about agriculture, food security and the lives of the farming community of our country. More attention should be paid to this issue.
Responding to questions from the Journalists, he further expressed
The Teachers 'Principals' Trade Union Alliance is launching a massive struggle for just demands. There has been a huge salary anomaly existing for a long time. The “Subodhani Committee” has issued recommendations.
However, the Ministerial Subcommittee agreed to provide one third of the recommendations made by the Subodhani Committee Report to rectify the salary anomalies. The trade Unions agreed to this decision.
Later the government declared that one third of the due increase would be granted in two. Accordingly the increase of a large number of teachers will be Rs. 1,250.00. The price of a gas cylinder was increased by Rs. 1257. The government spends Rs. 4500 billion a year.
Teachers are asking for 64 billion. The government printed 1300 billion rupees in 16 months. Only 64 billion is requested out of this amount. There are plenty of waste expenditures. Meanwhile the Ministers started talking about children with great pain.
When teachers voluntarily started online teaching during the COVID period where some children had to get into high trees and rocks due to not having signal, these Ministers remained deaf. This struggle is not only for salary increase.
This increase should be paid to retain talented teachers in the profession. But teachers decided to start teaching when the matters remain the same, when there is a struggle for professional rights, when the government has not paid attention to this demand and only a marginal salary increase was promised. But they have decided to continue their struggle while teaching. We extend our fullest support for their struggle.
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