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Soldiers forced to pay for Army Day celebrations: JVP

JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday said in Parliament that Rs. 1,800 had been deducted from the monthly salary of all soldiers to meet the expenses of the 60th Army Day celebrations.

He said that it was unfair that soldiers had been forced to pay for Army Day celebrations. Nothing could be as absurd as the army being asked to pay for "Ranaviru’ celebrations, he said.

He said that on Thursday a minister had admitted that not a single soldier had so far received a house though millions had been raised by Api Wenuwen Api campaign.

Dissanayake said the Transport Minister, too, admitted that funds collected from SLTB employees had not been handed over to the army.

Chief Government Whip Urban Development and Sacred Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena assured that he would take up this issue with relevant authorities. As money had been allocated for the Army Day celebrations from the budgetary allocations made to the Sri Lanka Army, the Minister said that he was not certain whether Rs. 1,800 had been deducted as alleged by the JVP.

Dissanayake said that he could produce a pay sheet of a soldier to prove his claim.

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