June 26, Colombo: The Janaposha Foundation, a Muslim-run charity in Sri Lanka providing free meals to thousands of poor people at hospitals was forced to suspend its free meals project after an opposition parliamentarian made unsubstantiated allegations against the organization.
The Janaposha Foundation issuing a statement announced the suspension of its free meals project with immediate effect.
Opposition Parliamentarian Gamini Lokuge was quoted in the controversial Sinhala Daily Divaina as alleging that the charity has ulterior motives in providing free meals to poor people visiting hospitals for treatment from distant places.
However, the parliamentarian has denied that he made such a statement to the media.
The Foundation in the statement said it had been silently been serving the poor and underprivileged communities since 2012. "As a truly Sri Lankan organization, the Foundation has served all those who have walked through its doors."
The statement noted that it was with great sense of sadness, despair and a heavy heart, the Foundation has taken a decision to close its doors and suspend services from 25th June 2019.
The Charity has begun providing free meals to the poor visitors to the country's main Colombo General Hospital initially and later expanded the service to Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, and the Maharagama Cancer Hospital.
To-date the Janaposha Foundation has annually served over half a million people irrespective of caste, race and religion who availed themselves of free food, sharing meals together in harmony.
The Foundation said it has continuously worked towards the well-being of the underprivileged it served and remains committed to ensure these poor caregivers are not marginalized.
However, it has been brought to the notice of the foundation that their noble intention of serving the poor and destitute has been misconstrued.
"With a sense of responsibility and given the tenuous circumstances, the Foundation is left with no choice but with a heavy heart and a grave sense of despair, forced to suspend operations immediately at the General Hospital, Kalubowila Teaching Hospital and the Maharagama Cancer Hospital."
The Foundation said it is also mindful of its responsibility towards the safety and security of its diverse employees who unstintingly worked together dedicating themselves towards this worthy cause. The Suspension of the Foundation's services will ensure its staff is not endangered in anyway should acts of communal violence be directed towards them.
The Foundation thanked the many stakeholders and all those helped to implement its vision to feed the poor.