revenge of Karuna
for budgetary relief
split over links with SLFP
While the government was given a dire
warning by the JVP last week to honour the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) signed with the SLFP under the threat of
withdrawing support in the provincial councils as an initial
step, the opposition UNP was busy putting its own house in
order as a precursor to launching the presidential election
campaign in December.
Gunatilleke, K. D. Lalkantha, Anura Dissanayake, Wimal
Weerawansa, Mahinda Rajapakse and Mangala Samaraweera
The JVP warning to the government came
at a time the party was haemorrhaging internally due to
tensions arising from the alliance with the SLFP and it was as
much an attempt at distancing itself from the failure of the
government to deliver on the pre election promises as it was
to keep unity within the Marxists.
It was evident from the inception the
SLFP-JVP alliance was far from a marriage made in heaven and
before long trouble would brew but not even the pessimists
within the alliance thought the rupture will come as fast as
Having got together for political
expediency, the SLFP became wise to the fact the future of the
party was at stake no sooner the general election results were
out, which fears were further heightened following the
provincial council elections with the JVP, through sheer
numbers, being in a position to control the fate of both
parliament and the PCs.
And with further inroads being made at
grassroots level using the state machinery at their command,
the JVP was set for the kill and only had to ensure the MoU
signed with the SLFP was followed to the letter to achieve
their long term objective of marginalising the blues.
By this time of course, SLFPers were
also feeling the pinch and started complaining to the
President both verbally as well as in writing the dangers
ahead and Kumaratunga decided to short-circuit the Marxists by
circumventing the MoU. The MoU necessitated all decisions in
government to be taken collectively.
But the President could not charter a
separate course to safeguard the SLFP by sidestepping the MoU
whilst continuing to be the leader of the UPFA and in a
politically astute move resigned as president of the UPFA,
thereby shedding all responsibility for the pact.
With that done the President started
consolidating the position of the SLFP by totally working
outside the MoU signed with the JVP, much to the chagrin of
the Marxists, who before long realised Kumaratunga was wise to
the JVP game plan and had beaten them at their own game.
However, the likes of Wimal Weerawansa
and Ministers Anura Dissanayake, Vijitha Herath and
Chandrasiri Wijesinghe were not ready to rock the boat having
just got into government and called for a more accommodative
approach by the party though there was strong resistance from
Minister K.D. Lalkantha and Nandana Gunatilleke who wanted the
party to call Kumaratunga's bluff with regard to the JVP.
Charges and counter charges
It was at a time this issue was
simmering that Kumaratunga's cabinet paper calling into
question the JVP's 10,000 tank rehabilitation project came to
be tabled in cabinet, causing severe embarrassment to the JVP
in general and Agriculture Minister, Anura Dissanayake in
What followed is now history with
charges and counter charges of corruption being levelled by
the alliance partners with Wimal Weerawansa even talking of
the President in disparaging terms publicly to distance
himself from the image he was a lackey of Kumaratunga and
It is in this backdrop the JVP
politburo met Monday, October 25, with the Marxists under
pressure to match its words with action lest it be tainted
with the perception of being a party that is 'no action, talk
Thus from the outset it was Nandana
Gunatilleke, who is also chairman of the UPFA, who led the
attack stating the time is right for the JVP to act against
the government lest they be blamed for all its failures
despite not having a role in the decision-making process given
the violation of the MoU with impunity by the President.
"Time has come for drastic
action," Gunatilleke said, with Minister Lalkantha
nodding his assent.
Continuing, Gunatilleke said the
President was publicly attacking the JVP to destroy the
popularity of the party and had to be stopped through a
massive counter attack which she would feel.
He went on to say, the President was
involved in a conspiracy to destroy the JVP for a while
despite views to the contrary entertained by some of his
party's ministerial colleagues and that one of the reasons for
making allegations of financial mismanagement on the tank
project was to destroy the party's image.
Added he, "cabinet papers are
submitted in violation of the MoU. We have repeatedly called
for the implementation of the MoU but she has no intention of
doing it. That is why she resigned from the UPFA leadership.
That way she is avoiding responsibility for implementing the
MoU. We must not be fooled by such tactics."
With that said, Gunatilleke proposed a
drastic course of action in the form of the JVP ministers
boycotting cabinet meetings until such time the President
withdraws her cabinet paper alleging financial impropriety on
the 10,000 tank rehabilitation project.
What Gunatilleke did with that move was
paint Minister Anura Dissanayake, who is in Wimal Weerawansa's
orbit of influence into a corner believing he could not
possibly oppose a proposal which was essentially a defence of
his conduct as agriculture minister.
Coming into support Gunatilleke on this
issue was Minister Lalkantha, the rising star of the JVP who
accused the President of releasing to the media letters
written to the party.
"Comrade Nandana is right. The
President planned the whole thing perfectly. She is the one
who leaked the cabinet paper to the media. Even a fool can see
that. The intention was to show the nation that there were
rogues even in the JVP," Lalkantha said.
Added he, "Even the cabinet paper
on the tank project was leaked. We too have released letters
written on various issues but not a single letter written to
the President. Why have we not done that?"
Explaining the party's failure to do so
was Minister Dissanayake who said it was in keeping with the
principle of collective responsibility, which the party wanted
to adhere to.
"The idea was to show her we
followed the principle of collective responsibility even
though she did not," Dissanayake added.
Not stopping at that, Dissanayake said
he and Wimal had discussed the issue with Minister Mangala
Samaraweera who he said had also made a request to keep the
issue under wraps without allowing it to spiral out of
But that explanation did not hold water
with Gunatilleke who pointed out, the President was not
bothered or affected by such subtleties. "Instead, she
called for your explanation within a week on the corruption
charges levelled and released it to the media, "
And not hiding his anger, Gunatilleke
said the JVP must stop taking important decisions within the
confines of Minister Samaraweera's house.
There was, Gunatilleke said, a growing
belief among party members that the JVP ministers had fallen
into a carefully laid trap by the President and Samaraweera.
"There are various rumours about
comrade Wimal too. We don't believe those things but our
members think he is trying to protect the President. That is
not good for party morale," Gunatilleke further said.
At this point a pensive Weerawansa
suddenly got activated claiming the rumours were completely
false and baseless, adding it was the UNP media which was
engaged in spreading such tales.
Accusing several SLFP ministers also of
being part of this conspiracy, Weerawansa said he was prepared
to take on the President any time if the party gave him the
But Gunatilleke had more to say and he
went on to draw the attention of the politburo to the 'Sanvardana
Sangramaya' launched by the President in Anuradhapura last
week and said the JVP was treated shabbily in the programme.
Added he, "the whole exercise was
to rebuild the SLFP image. Prominence was given to SLFP
members but Anura Dissanayake went and sat on the stage. He
should not have done that. It was wrong."
Defended Dissanayake - "But I was
given a role to play."
Shot back Gunatilleke - "We are
not talking of individuals here. Our party should have been
given a role, you should have boycotted the event."
The statement of Gunatilleke was
particularly potent in the backdrop of Minister Lalkantha who
hails from Anuradhapura not participating at the ceremony.
Having said his piece, Gunatilleke
reiterated his call for a boycott of cabinet.
But JVP Ministers Dissanayake, Vijitha
Herath and Chandrasena Wijesinghe just six months into
ministerial office had different ideas stating there were
positive signals coming from the President.
Said Dissanayake - "The President
has sent some good messages to sort out all the problems.
Therefore rather than boycott cabinet, why don't we give a
deadline for the implementation of the MoU, failing which we
can withdraw support from the provincial councils."
After further discussing the subject,
it was finally decided to issue the President an ultimatum to
honour the MoU, failing which the JVP would withdraw its
support in the provincial councils as a first step and the
task of notifying Kumaratunga in writing of the party decision
was entrusted to the General Secretary, Tilvin Silva.
The party however also decided on a
systematic strangulation of the SLFP if the President did not
start implementing the MoU after the initial warning, with the
resignation from cabinet and sitting in the opposition benches
And as a separate pressure tactic, the
JVP decided to field its own candidate for the presidential
election though the nominee was to be decided only later.
With that out of the way, Tilvin Silva
raised complaints received by party members against Fisheries
Minister, Chandrasena Wijesinghe in relation to employment
given at Ceynor on the recommendation of the Minister's wife.
Silva said the jobs were given in the
Ceynor Security Service in violation of party policy leading
to several complaints by party members on deviation of policy.
Deviation of policy
Making his own contribution on this
issue was Minister Lalkantha who took umbrage over the
deviation of policy stating one rule must apply to all
Lalkantha said in Anuradhapura too
people came looking for employment but that he explained the
party position that employment will only be on merit.
"If the people get to know we have
been providing employment as alleged, they would surround our
offices and topple them. Otherwise let's change the party
policy and allow all of us to provide employment on an
arbitrary basis," the Minister went on to say.
Minister Wijesinghe for his part
pleaded ignorance of the whole exercise and promised to
investigate the allegation and report back this week.
Interestingly, even before the JVP
politburo met, deputy ministers of the SLFP, which had formed
a separate grouping too had decided to take the battle to the
JVP given their criticism of the President in particular and
the government in general.
Accordingly, on a proposal by Deputy
Minister of Power, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, it was decided to
boycott the ministerial vote of Minister Lalkantha owing to
his criticism at the forthcoming budget.
The proposed move was opposed by Deputy
Minister, Mervyn Silva who saw it as seriously splitting the
alliance but other members were adamant that the JVP too
should be sent a warning signal.
News of this development too reached
the JVP and the party decided to boycott votes of several SLFP
ministers if the deputy ministers persisted with their
If these troubles within the JVP were
bad enough, there were storm clouds gathering elsewhere too
before the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, October 26
(Wednesday being a Poya holiday), over a memorandum submitted
by Finance Minister, Sarah Amunugama in relation to the
appointment of additional secretaries to be in charge of
foreign funded projects in five ministries. The ministries
were highways, urban development, agriculture, education, and
power and energy.
On seeing Amunugama's cabinet paper,
Urban Development Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena was visibly
angry considering it an interference in his Ministry and
telephoned the Finance Minister to inquire the logic behind
Gunawardena told Amunugama, any move to
appoint additional secretaries should be left to the
respective ministries and the cabinet paper of the Finance
Minister was an unwarranted interference in his affairs.
For his part, Amunugama pleaded
ignorance, stating he was unaware of the cabinet paper in
question but would look into it and was certain there was some
misunderstanding on the contents.
"How can you not know when you
have signed it? Who gave you the authority to appoint
additional secretaries to my Ministry?" Gunawardena
asked. Amunugama responded he would look into it and clarify
Thus, no sooner the ministers assembled
for the cabinet meeting, both Minister Gunawardena and Prime
Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also highways minister,
commented there was unwarranted interference in their
Asked Prime Minister Rajapakse from
Amunugama - "What is this cabinet paper?"
Amunugama possibly realising the
Premier was in an agitated mood sought to downplay the issue
stating there would be no changes as contemplated.
Shot back Rajapakse "What do you
mean? It is taking away our powers. When did you become the
Given Rajapakse's belligerent mood,
Minister Anura Dissanayake inquired from Minister Gunawardena
what the problem was only to be told his ministry too had been
target for the appointment of an additional secretary.
Said Gunawardena - "He is
proposing to appoint an additional secretary to your ministry
as well to monitor the use of foreign funds. The Prime
Minister has submitted a cabinet paper opposing it."
It was while those arguments were going
to and fro that the President walked in for the cabinet
meeting only to be greeted with a howl of protest from the
Said Rajapakse - "I put a cabinet
paper. Did you read it? You can cheapen the premiership but
don't try to take away my ministerial powers (amathikamata
kelinda epa). How can anyone appoint additional secretaries to
Once again Amunugama moved to defuse
the situation proposing to act on the basis of Rajapakse's
cabinet paper which called for the appointment of the
additional secretary by the minister in charge of the subject.
That did not satisfy Minister
Gunawardena either, who obviously saw a dark plot in the whole
exercise to undermine him.
Said he, "Since you have put a
cabinet paper we must look into it. In my ministry, the
additional secretary is director planning of the UDA. He is
number 400 in the list of seniority."
Looking the picture of innocence, asked
Kumaratunga - "Really. Is he so junior?" only to see
Amunugama stating he did not know.
Shot back Gunawardena "Yes. You
must ask us to know. Don't do it in future. If this went
through, it would have led to a big problem in the SLAS."
Further controversy was to follow with
the Prime Minister pointing out that he and Anura Dissanayake
were left out of the cabinet sub committee to direct the
additional secretaries on the budgetary allocations of foreign
funded projects though the President and Ministers Gunawardena
and Susil Premjayanth were included in addition to Mangala
Samaraweera, whose ministry is one that is not earmarked for
the appointment of an additional secretary.
Jumped in Dissanayake - "Yes, how
was my name removed from the sub committee?"
Not waiting to deal any further with
the issue, Minister Amunugama said they could work on the
basis of Rajapakse's cabinet paper and include Dissanayake and
the Premier also in the sub committee.
It was the President who had the final
say in the matter however making it clear it was all the work
The Finance Minister would have
submitted the paper because of the foreign funding involved,
In the midst of these internal battles,
another front was opened by Minister Mangala Samaraweera who
on Thursday, October 28, claimed the next presidential
election would only be in 2006 despite Elections Commissioner,
Dayananda Dissanayake already having gone on record stating it
will be in 2005.
This announcement of course led to
heightened activity in the UNP, which has decided to launch an
island-wide agitational campaign on the issue to build public
The UNP is all set to announce the
candidature of Ranil Wickremesinghe at the party convention on
December 5, which matter in fact was discussed at the party's
political affairs committee earlier in the week.
But the emphasis at the meeting was
ensuring party discipline and the need to speak in one voice
in the lead up to the December convention and laying the law
on the issue was Party Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The political affairs committee had on
Monday, October 25, summoned MPs Bandula Gunawardena and M.
Maharoof to explain their absence from parliament on the day
the national identity card debate took place and it was after
giving his explanation that Bandula Gunawardena raised the
issue of a different kind of discipline.
Gunawardena said the 'Gamin Gamata'
programme of Colombo District MP, Milinda Moragoda was
creating havoc in the party and causing severe embarrassment
given the nature of questions and answers given on the various
issues confronting the party and the country.
"It shows the party guilty of all
the sins it is accused of," Gunawardena argued, adding
statements contrary to party positions were also stated in
response to questions posed.
Supporting Gunawardena was UNP
Chairman, Malik Samarawickrema who said he too has received
several complaints from MPs about the programme and that
something should be done about it. "This can't go
on," Samarawickrema said.
Giving his own views on the matter,
Ranil Wickremesinghe said there was no point in blaming any
individual since most of them were guilty of this self
critical approach running counter to party policy.
"What we have to do is speak in
one voice without going in to the past and blaming each other.
I have decided that from December that anyone having a 'Bala
Mandalaya' meeting and inviting a guest speaker must do so on
the basis of names recommended by the party so that one
message will be given in policy," Wickremesinghe said.
With that out of the way, Colombo
District MP, Ravi Karunanayake was called in to discuss
motions submitted in parliament in relation to party policy,
and thereafter the trade union leaders, where once again the
message was party unity. (See Pot Shots)
But the thrust of the party in the
coming weeks will be the presidential election in addition to
the cost of living and given the splits within the UPFA, the
new year portends more political fireworks and instability.
revenge of Karuna
By Amantha Perera
On October 24 the Special Task Force
made a startling discovery in Kathankudi when STF personnel
stopped K. Ganeshan who was travelling on a motorbike. He was
carrying night vision equipment with him. He was arrested and
later handed over to the Kathankudi Police.
It was not the arrest, but what was
discovered in his possession that sent alarm bells ringing.
Ganeshan was later described as a Karuna supporter by sources
in Batticaloa. The discovery of the equipment only added to
the growing apprehension in the east that Karuna and his
supporters have come back with a bang in recent weeks and it
also meant his supporters too are well armed.
The last two weeks have seen the Karuna
faction making a concerted effort to make its presence felt in
Batticaloa. "These guys have become very assertive,"
observed sources in Batticaloa.
Two weeks ago Karuna supporters
succeeded in distributing posters and leaflets in Batticaloa.
The publicity blitz drove home the point that despite the
overwhelming presence of the LTTE in the east, Karuna could
still make his presence felt. Karuna is attempting to use the
ENDLF as a springboard. It was senior ENDLF member P.
Rajarathnam who released the letter from Chennai. The
designated secretary of Karuna's party, N. Ganaraja too has
connections to the ENDLF. Civilians in Batticaloa told The
Sunday Leader that they were nervous and feared for the worst
if the confrontations continue.
The poster campaign ran parallel to
Karuna releasing a statement condemning the murder of former
MP Kingley Rasanayagam and his supporters in India writing to
the Norwegian Prime Minister asking the Norwegians to move out
of the peace process. The letter was ignored by the peace
Such disregard however was not
deterring Karuna supporters in the east. On Sunday night, the
same day the STF recovered the night vision goggles Kandasamy
Wasanthan (18) and Sevathamby Rajadorai were attacked in
Earvur at the latter's home. Army headquarters later said that
Rajadorai was operating under the alias Kunam and was a former
member of the LTTE political wing.
"An 18-year old youngster (Wasanthan)
employed at a video centre in the general area of Eravur has
been gunned down by three suspected LTTE men, believed to be
from a breakaway LTTE group," a release by the Defence
However, army sources in the east had a
different story to relate. They said that the two were
responsible for organising various events on behalf of the
LTTE and had even carried out recruitment and in fact had been
gunned down by the rival faction.
The confusion was nothing new given the
state of affairs in the east. Civilians in Batticaloa confided
that they were not sure whom to trust. Two abductions were
reported by the army from Batticaloa, one in Earvur and
another in Kotamadu. Both were blamed on the LTTE.
Confusion reigned supreme when Swiss
national Hans Ulrich was murdered on Monday, October 25 night.
Ulrich had settled in Batticaloa two years back after marrying
a Tamil widow he had met at a hotel. A grenade was thrown at
him while he was in the bathroom. He died upon admission to
the Batticaloa hospital. From the moment the attack was
reported, security forces, police and ceasefire monitors all
said that it appeared to be a private issue outside the
on-going Karuna-Pirapaharan tussle for control.
However, the day after the murder
reports, including one wire service report originating from
Colombo signaled the Tigers were behind the murder. The reason
being that Ulrich had refused to comply with the LTTE taxes.
"They (Tigers) cannot be that
stupid to kill a foreigner for that," reasoned out
sources in Batticaloa. The LTTE too reacted strongly to the
allegations. "This killing gains more significance in
view of the victim being a Swiss national. This has been
planned in such a way to portray the LTTE in bad light,"
the Tiger release said.
The Tigers have been critical of
reports originating from the south and missive was
anticipated. Two weeks back Political Wing Head S. P.
Tamilselvan reacted to a wire service report that said that
Tigers had agreed to consider government proposals all the way
No sooner had the Tigers done so,
reports appeared in Colombo based newspapers saying that Sea
Tiger Leader Soosai and Trincomalee Head Suwarnam had reneged.
Soosai was to later travel to Kilinochchi and from there to
Singapore for medical treatment. He returned to the Tiger
administrative capital Kilinochchi last week and was greeted
by his wife and children upon arrival.
Reports had earlier said that Soosai
was staying away from Kilinochchi and hardening his stance
from his Sea Tiger Base in Chalai, Mullaitivu.
Tamilselvan who led the delegation
during the European tour did not return with the group last
week. He along with the head of the LTTE Peace Secretariat
Pulidevan and his deputy Selvy Karthikeyan were expected back
during the weekend.
"Irresponsible media reporting has
been a bane in the politics of Sri Lanka, in that partisan
reporting based on information furnished by interested parties
without recourse to investigation, a cardinal ethic in
journalism has contributed its fare share in fuelling this
decades old conflict," a visibly peeved LTTEer said.
The LTTE had also complained to the
SLMM that the army was building new bunkers at Allannkulam,
near Valachchenai. An SLMM team that visited the area however
returned with no evidence to prove the claim.
The army has been closely monitoring
the situation in Allannkulam that lies about 2 km from the
Habarana-Valachchenai main highway. There had been
intelligence to suggest that the LTTE might move into the area
and build a transit camp. Due to the fear, the army has been
deploying more men in the area.
The police and the army also carried
out a cordon and search operation in Puttur, near Valachchenai
on October 24. The operation was carried out after obtaining a
court order and was aimed at locating LTTE safe-houses. The
village had been identified as a nucleus for LTTE cadres
operating in government held areas without the knowledge of
the security forces or the SLMM. Security forces sources said
they had information to indicate that the dreaded LTTE pistol
gang was operating out of the village.
The operation in which around 100
police officers and an equal number of army troops took part
however did not yield any suspects or weapons.
When senior LTTE leaders including
Eastern Political Head Kaushalyan andJudicial Administration
Head, E. Pararajasingham were crossing over from government
held areas to Tiger held areas in Vavuniya, the army wanted to
check the vehicles. The LTTEers refused and the refusal ensued
a one hour delay. Ultimately, the LTTEers were allowed to pass
without any checking.
The Human Right Commission office in
Jaffna has also been informed by civilians that army officers
at check points sometimes unnecessarily delay civilians in an
effort to garner information about Kilinochchi and the LTTE.
This week however, Jaffna and
Kilinochchi is expecting a special visitor, far removed from
the diplomats who keep scurrying back and forth. Sri Lankan
cricket star and UN ambassador Muttiah Muralitharan is
expected to visit the north in a UN sponsored trip.
for budgetary relief
Lankans who are trying to adjust to the high cost of living
are now waiting for the presentation of the UPFA’s maiden
budget, which is now in its finalisation stage, in
anticipation of some relief from economic hardship.
government for its part too has raised the hopes of people,
promising the forthcoming budget would be a sunshine budget,
which would be based on a national poverty alleviation and
growth strategy providing relief for everyone.
with "impressive" salary hikes for the public sector
and relief for the poor through its "pro-poor"
economic policy, the masses are waiting to reap the benefits
of voting for a government which promised to bring down the
cost of living.
the forthcoming budget is expected to provide relief to the
masses at large, it is interesting to note that since assuming
power in April, the government has increased various taxes,
duties, prices of essential items and imposed tariffs.
it on oil
increases however, have been attributed to the escalating
global fuel prices, which it is claimed has resulted in a
drain on the country’s foreign reserves and the depreciation
of the rupee.
a bid to arrest the situation and to increase the country’s
revenue, the government while amending certain tax laws has
also imposed new taxes.
to the Value Added Tax and the Inland Revenue (Regulation for
Amnesty) are expected to increase the country’s revenue
increase in excise taxes pertaining to tobacco and liquor was
imposed several weeks back and little or no time was wasted
when the latest addition to the list, the excise (special
provisions) duty for private cars and vans was introduced on
duty, which was imposed on a sudden decision by the Treasury
was formulated and imposed within a short period of three
the recent meeting between Treasury officials and donors,
Treasury Secretary, Dr. P. B. Jayasundera noted that the
government plans to transfer subsidies from the rich to the
poor and taxes from poor to the rich to make it pro-poor,
exercise a high tax effort to create fiscal space to finance
development and reduce domestic borrowings to channel funds
for the private sector as the needs of small and medium
enterprises are equally important for pro-poor growth.
further pointed out that the challenges faced by the country
include a legacy of high fiscal deficits, which in turn has
made little room for fiscal stimulus in the economy, medium
term deficit correction strategy based on higher taxation
effort, set back to growth and price stability by the drought
and the difficulties in balance of payments due to the oil
government’s response to these as pointed out by Dr.
Jayasundera, was the 30% price adjustment of domestic fuel
prices, a sharp increase in motor vehicle duties, fare
increases in transport and the electricity tariff increase.
for price adjustments, postal, water and railway fare
adjustments are in the pipeline and while the government is on
an intensified revenue drive, restraint would also be
practiced on operational expenditure including defence.
that as it may, the government in the forthcoming budget is
expected to curb budgetary allocations for subsidies in its
maiden budget. The government’s present subsidy scheme has
come under fire from several parties, including the Janatha
Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) stating it is of no proper use as it
benefits the needy as well as the affluent.
Sri Lanka is one rare country which functions on a dual
pay to the government what is in turn used to subsidise goods
provided for them. While the masses pay taxes, the money in
turn is used to pay for the increasing subsidy bills.
JVP has also voiced concern over the country’s tax regime,
which they say is also unfair as it applies to the rich and
the poor alike.
for the fuel subsidy, the government is expected to look at
more strategic measures. However, it is also said that the
public transport sector would not be subject to sudden price
hikes in keeping with the increasing fuel prices, adding that
the government would look at ways to minimise the impact of
future fuel hikes in the sector.
the matter, Dr. Jayasundera told The Sunday Leader
recently that where fuel subsidies are concerned, unlike the
present system, the government through the next budget would
look at providing relief for targeted sectors like the public
for the mechanism behind implementing a scheme to provide
relief for the public transport sector, Dr. Jayasundera
maintained the government would come up with the necessary
measures in due course.