The health sector, security forces, the police and institutions involved in providing essential services are fulfilling a tremendous task in decisively defeating the corona virus situation in the country. However, we do not believe this alone could prevent the epidemic from harming the country. As such, the whole society should actively take part in the process to get rid of the virus from the country. We, as a political movement, are prepared to engage actively in the process to eradicate the epidemic . We call upon the government to take measures openly to get contributions from all sectors to contain the situation. Our country and our people should not be made a prey to the calamity. Hence, we appeal to the people to do their mite to save all of us from the calamity,” says the Leader of the JVP Comrade Anura Dissanayake speaking at a special media conference held at the head office of the JVP today (25th).
The media conference was held live online due to the prevailing corona virus situation in the country and the curfew. Former JVP Parliamentarian for Kalutara District Comrade Dr Nalinda Jayatissa too was present.
Speaking further Comrade Anura Dissanayake said, “The virus situation that has grown at a global scale has created fear among the masses. All have been alarmed as corona has developed into an epidemic stage in countries considered as developed and having higher health services. As such, we, as citizens, should act responsibly. State machinery alone will not be able to save our country from this calamity. However, the state machinery should play the main role in fulfilling this task.
Nevertheless, political movements, voluntary organizations, individuals and the general public could make a collective effort to ease the situation. We, as a political party, are fulfilling this social obligation through our ‘Red Star’ voluntary force. Despite not being expeditious initially, the state machinery is now taking decisions impressively.
It is the responsibility of all of us to prevent our country and our people from inheriting the catastrophe the world is confronted with at present. It is difficult to confront the calamity while allowing the masses to carry out their day to day chores. As such, the general public should become a group that could withstand certain restrictions and scarcities. The masses should take responsibility of correctly following the instructions given by the health sector and other authorities.
As the carrier of the virus is the human body, we should mediate to restrain it humanly. There could be groups with economic difficulties, patients with various health issues, families with little children and looking after the elderly who would be confronted with various issues. As such, the masses should be members of a humane process that look after fellow beings.
By now the government has imposed a curfew. It may be extended. We still are unable to forecast regarding the spreading, intensifying or subsidizing of the epidemic. As such, the government, taking into consideration what dangerous situation that could arise, should take necessary precautionary actions.
Especially, maintaining social distancing is an essential feature. In this regard, the public confronts two main circumstances. The foremost is the difficulty they are confronted with to meet their daily meals. The second is the problem of getting the necessary medicine for the patients. If in the process of looking for food and medicine, the goal of imposing the curfew is nullified maintaining the curfew would not be fruitful. We have seen how this goal has been nullified once the curfew imposed for three days was lifted only for eight hours. Despite the fact that many people followed the instruction given by authorities, there were many instances where such instructions were not followed. There were also instances of a shortage of goods and a large number of people converging at certain places. As such, the government, as well as the public, should find solutions for the issues of the masses when the curfew is imposed.
Supplying provisions to doorsteps would solve the problem partially. A state mechanism that incorporates the CWE and private companies maintaining supermarkets would be able to come to the rescue. More than three state officials serve in a Grama Seva Division. This already existing ‘mechanism’ could be deployed to form a mechanism to supply provisions to households. However, such a mechanism only would not be able to meet the needs of more than 6 million families in our country. Hence, it is necessary to find other alternative mechanisms.
There is a network of small shops that are linked to the villages. However, they are not financially strong. As a result, there is a shortage of goods in villages. A state mechanism should be formed to do away with this shortage. This network of shops should be given financial assistance and means of obtaining essential goods. The government could arrange a process through the grama niladhari, the Samurdhi officer and other state officials serving the village to set up a mechanism.
A group that does not have money to buy provisions too has been inconvenienced. A large section of our people does not have a permanent source of income. Their means of income are irregular. The income of lottery sellers, king-coconut sellers, collectors of bottles and newspapers, fishmongers as well as families of a large number of people employed abroad has dwindled. The bank network has broken down. All those, such as carpenters, masons, whose sources of income are irregular are confronted with financial issues. More than 1.4 million samurdhi recipients in the old registers, the .6 million identified recently, and all those who earn a daily income are confronted with financial issues.
Steps should be taken to provide them with a relief package. Attention also should be drawn to voluntary organizations such as elders’ and children’s homes that depend on people’s contributions.
The health sector, security forces, the police and institutions involved in providing essential services are fulfilling a tremendous task in decisively defeating the corona virus situation in the country. However, we do not believe this alone could prevent the epidemic from harming the country. As such, the whole society should actively take part in the process to get rid of the virus from the country. We, as a political movement, are prepared to engage in the process to eradicate the epidemic actively. We call upon the government to take measures openly to get contributions from all sectors to contain the situation. Our country and our people should not be made a prey to the calamity. Hence, we appeal to the people to do their mite to save all of us from the calamity.”