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* President assures SJB that masses will be provided relief without distinction amidst difficulties
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 10:13 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 06, Colombo: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) led by former Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa that relief will be provided to the people without distinction amidst many difficulties.

The President has given this assurance during a meeting held with the SJB Monday at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of the President and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the prevailing situation in the country following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Opposition Leader and SJB leader Sajith Premadasa, General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara and several other members of the party participated in the meeting.

The President elaborated on the measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country and the future plans that have been put forward.

Pointing out that the government has acted responsibly with the World Health Organization warning of the coronavirus pandemic, President Rajapaksa said that the government more than some other countries has taken a host of swift measures to protect the people of the country.

The President said every step has been taken from closing of the schools and universities to continuing essential services to safeguard the public while maintaining their daily routine, and therefore, the government was able to control the spread of the Coronavirus.

The President added that the Government always acted accepting expert advice and combining public and private sector mechanisms, including health and security sectors.

The President said it is possible to identify the victims in advance as the preliminary investigations are being carried out with specialist medical advice to identify the infected patients and their associates.

He said the quarantine process is carried out in 40 centers. The public health inspectors have also taken steps to prevent the spread of the virus. The President also commended the public health inspectors for their assistance in patient monitoring and screening as well as in public administration.

The SJB commended the government's program and both sides felt that the program should be continued without any political or other differences.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that if there is any injustice to anyone or any shortcoming in the government's program, the government will take immediate action.

The Leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, Sajith Premadasa and Predesign requested the relevant clients to focus attention on the people who have stranded in the city without being able to return home after coming to work for construction and other daily wage earning work.

A large number of drugs needed for daily health services, including medicine for non-communicable diseases, will be brought from India tomorrow (07) at the request of the government.

President Rajapaksa explained that the government has already planned to adopt an economic system that suits the country taking into account the economic and social situation in the world.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that the government is taking expert advice to uplift the apparel and tourism industry declined due to the epidemic in the country. He added that the government will act on their instructions as soon as the opportunity arises.

In addition to Samurdhi beneficiaries, more than seven lakhs of elderly, disabled and kidney patients have been paid an allowance of Rs. 5000, head of the Presidential Task Force, Basil Rajapaksa informed. An opportunity has been granted for anyone who did not receive the allowance to appeal to the Grama Niladhari.

The Government and the SJB focused on many other issues in the health sector and other areas.

Ministers Dinesh Gunawardena, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Wimal Weerawansa, Dullas Alahapperuma, Bandula Gunawardena and Johnston Fernando represented the government. Treasury Secretary Dr. PB Jayasundera was also present.

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