Aug 22, Colombo: Samurdhi Development officers today accused the former minister Basil Rajapaksa of misappropriating Rs. 7 billion from Samurdhi Banks during the two elections.
They also said that the job security of 26,800 Samurdhi officers was lost because of the former minister's setting up of the Divi Neguma Development Department.
These statements were made at a media briefing held today at the Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) headquarters.
P.K. Ranukkge, the President of the All Ceylon Samurdhi Managers' Association says that when Divi Neguma Development Department was set up several departments were amalgamated in order to fulfill the desires of certain political leaders. As a result the workers were severely inconvenienced to the point of not being able to receive a clear-cut letter of appointment.
He said the workers were happy that they were brought up under a department which provided job security and a pension but it was not to be.
The previous government took certain decisions based on political needs while claiming they stand for the workers' rights, but now it has all been proved a myth, he noted.
SLFP General Secretary Minister Duminda Dissanayake said that all facts presented by the Samurdhi officers will be sent to the President and will hold discussions with Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare SB Dissanayake.
He said that the government and the SLFP will intervene in the matters to resolve the problems of the Samurdhi officer and managers in order to rebuild the Samurdhi program as a strong movement.