Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka

Second phase of the government’s 2022/2023 Maha season rice purchase, stock disposal program in Jaffna

  • In line with the program to strengthen the country’s economy, the government has paid special attention to uplifting the low-income groups- Sagala Ratnayake

During his attendance at the inauguration of the second phase of the free rice distribution to low-income families at Velanai Divisional Secretariat Auditorium in Jaffna yesterday (28), Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, emphasized the government’s commitment to uplift the low-income population. He highlighted that the government has paid special attention to this matter as part of its program to strengthen the country’s economy, which includes the implementation of a social security program.

The program, which focuses on the Thelippalai and Velanai areas of Jaffna, was implemented in conjunction with the government’s paddy procurement and disposal program for the 2022/2023 high season, with the Sri Lanka Army making a significant contribution.

The distribution of rice to low-income families was carried out by Mr. Sagala Ratnayake. Expressing his views at the event Mr. Ratnayake said,

“As the Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, I am proud to share with you the President’s vision of providing 10 kg of rice to low-income people, which was started as a relief program for the poor and benefited paddy farmers by allowing them to receive the right price for their harvest.

Additionally, small paddy mill owners have also gained strength from this program. We initiated the first phase of this rice distribution before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and now we are launching the second phase in the Jaffna District today.

It is noteworthy that the army is engaged in an agricultural program while performing its duties and after recovering their expenses, the rest of the money would be distributed among the poor people.

The President’s aim was to start the first program in the Jaffna District, and I express my sincere gratitude to the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Police for taking steps to provide this rice to the people in need.

Our country faced many difficulties in the last few years, beginning with the war and followed by the COVID-19 epidemic, economic crisis, and the people’s struggles. During that time, there was a shortage of food, medicines, fuel, and gas, and all the people faced these problems without any distinction between North and South.

When Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe took over the country, the country was in a situation where it was not even possible to pay the salaries of public servants. If ten more days pass, the country will stop completely. We are an island nation. We are not able to cross the border and go to other countries. We are also not able to bring food from anywhere.

However, under the leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, we have been able to establish law and order, solve the existing problems one by one, and provide necessary resources such as gas, food, and fuel. The President also took necessary steps to stabilize the country’s economy and reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which was not an easy task, but essential to establish international trust and enable foreigners to come to our country. The government is now implementing a program of moving forward without taking a step back, and the President has prepared the background for governing the country correctly.

Furthermore, a program is being prepared to develop the agriculture and tourism industry in the Northern region and strengthen the economy of the people. The social security program is also being built to eliminate poverty and uplift low-income people in line with the program to strengthen the country’s economy.

As we talk about reconciliation, the time has come to implement that program and strengthen the process of tracing missing persons. We believe that these efforts will lead to a prosperous and peaceful Sri Lanka.”

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda

Based on the idea of the president, it was decided to give ten kilos of rice each to low-income families. This program is implemented without any caste and religious discrimination. The President has also taken steps to provide a guaranteed price to farmers’ paddy in the North and East regions.

Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe should be thanked by the entire country for accepting the responsibility of recovering the country at a time when the country was in severe crisis. I urge everyone to come together and work together with President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

State Minister of Social Empowerment Anupa Pasqual –

Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe assumed the presidency at a time when there was a huge economic crisis in the country. Because the country was handed over to Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, it has been possible to bring the economy to a better place. At that time, the people of Jaffna acted diligently. The President decided to provide rice to all low-income families, not just the Samurdhi beneficiaries, both before the New Year and after.

Army Commander Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Jaffna Security Force Commander Major General Swarna Bothota, members of the three-armed forces, and government officials were present on this occasion.

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