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‘Aswesuma’ failed for want of proper survey-SJB

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‘UNDP carried out what govt. should have done’

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) leader Sajith Premadasa on Thursday (31) said that a proper social security scheme couldn’t be launched without a comprehensive survey.Lawmaker Premadasa, who is also the Opposition Leader said that the government launched ‘Aswesuma’ social security scheme failed in the absence of a countrywide survey.

The former Cultural Affairs Minister said so after receiving a report titled ‘Understanding Multidimensional Vulnerability Impact on People of Sri Lanka’ conducted by the UNDP and Oxford University.

Ms. Azusa Kubota, UNDP Resident Representative, Dr. Sabina Alkire (Director -Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford), Prof. Siri Hettige, Fadhil Bakeer Markar (Team Leader, UNDP) and Ms. Tshokey Zangmo, Researcher, (OPHI) were present on the occasion. The SJB leader received the report from Ms Kubota.

Utterly disorganized bid to implement ‘Aswesuma’ in place of time-tested ‘Samurdhi’ caused countrywide chaos and the government was struggling to take remedial measures, lawmaker Premadasa said. According to the Opp Leader, ‘Aswesuma’ hadn’t been able to address poverty though it was implemented with a view to assist the needy.

MP Premadasa said that Prof. S.D. Jayaratne, Chairman of National Medicines Regulatory Authority recently admitted that medicines of inferior quality had been brought into the country and that the government perpetrated corruption in a bankrupt country regardless of consequences. The SJB Chief demanded that those who utilized public funds to import inferior quality medicine should be punished.

Prof. Jayaratne had addressed this issue after the Opposition handed over a no-faith motion against Keheliya Rambukwella against his overall failure to maintain public health sector, therefore President Ranil Wickremesinghe-led government should accept responsibility for the pathetic situation, the Opposition Leader said. (SF)

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