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Government should stop its gimmicks and solve farmers' issues “ Namal Karunaratne

2013 Aug 13

“The government should stop its gimmicks and response to our proposals without getting farmers to take to the streets,” says the National Organizer of All Island Farmers’ Federation Namal Karunaratne.

Speaking at a media conference held at Hotel Nippon in Slave Island in Colombo today (12th) Mr. Karunaratne said, “The media conference was convened to draw attention to farmers’ issues when preparing the budget for 2014. We have presented to the government six proposals based on issues affecting the farmer community. In these proposals we propose that funds should be made available directly for agriculture. We’ll be waiting till 30th September for government’s response regarding these proposals. We have also made arrangements to carry out a massive agitation programme if we do not receive a favourable response from the government. Hence, we would expect the government to response to our proposals without getting farmers to take to the streets.

The government published advertisements in newspapers and requested masses to present proposals for the 2014 budget. We have presented several proposals that are important for the farmer community. These are proposals that are presented expecting solutions for farmers’ issues. The proposals have been compiled with advice and views from leaders of farmer associations.

We wouldn’t stop our process with the proposals. We would go to the paddy fields, farms and villages. We expect a discussion from the Ministry of Finance. What is regrettable is that not even a letter was sent stating they received our letters. We ask President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has the kurakkan shawl around his neck and came to power on the shoulders of farmers, to pay attention to these proposals.

We convened all farmer associations and had discussions. We were able to unite all farmer associations. We hope to convene a meeting with farmer leaders from Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ampare and all agricultural areas. We will give time for the government till 30th September to response to our proposals.”

The Asst. Secretary of All Island Farmers’ Federation T.B. Sarath, Members of its Executive Committee Susantha Kumara Navaratne, Sunil Rathnayake and Jayasena Dissanayake were also present.

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