Cash strapped government on begging spree
Suffering from a massive financial debacle, the
cash-strapped Mahinda Rajapaksa government is on an
international begging spree in an effort to collect more
aid to upkeep some 250,000 Internally Displaced Persons
(IDPs) in the north.
Despite receiving a sum of $ 225 million in foreign aid
so far, the government appears to be suffering from a
massive financial shortfall and has thus made a fresh
appeal to the international community and the Sri Lankan
expatriates seeking urgent help to maintain the IDPs’
day to day maintenance costs.
fresh attempt comes following a stern warning issued by
Britain, one of the largest aid providers who expressed
disappointment in the manner the government was handling
the displaced and even threatened to withdraw funding if
no significant progress is seen soon.
ultimatum issued by British Development Minister Mike
Foster has not gone down well with the government and it
has thrown them into panic mode,” sources told The
Sunday Leader yesterday.
Meanwhile, in a appeal targeted at the Sri Lankan
expatriates living in Britain, the Sri Lankan High
Commission in the UK said, “While the Government of Sri
Lanka is appealing to the international community for
financial and material support, the Sri Lanka High
Commission in London wishes to make a similar appeal to
the Sri Lankan diaspora living in London for appropriate
contribution to this noble cause. This is a unique
opportunity to express your solidarity with the needy
people and reinforce your patriotism and commitment to
High Commission will only be accepting cash donations
citing purposes of convenience and no material donations
are currently being accepted. Continuous attempts made
by The Sunday Leader to contact Human Rights and
Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe proved
futile. Human Rights Ministry Secretary Rajiva Wijesinha
was also not available for comment, at the time this
edition went to press.
Meanwhile, the government raised its defence expenditure
by another 20 percent on Thursday.
Parliament approved an additional Rs. Rs. 33 billion to
be utilised for payment of salaries, to beef up former
LTTE controlled areas and to pay compensation to those
who lost their lives during the war.