JVP, UNP attempting to gain mileage from water shortage – govt

By Ifham Nizam

The JVP and the UNPwere trying to gain political mileage out of the water shortage experienced by farmers in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts, Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday.

"The JVP can carry out a protest campaign only if they have a sufficient number of members, but the farmers will not fall for such tactics because they are aware that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, within 24 hours of returning home from an overseas journey, met relevant stakeholders and assured that farmers’ problems would be attended to."Amaraweera told the media, at the Disaster Management Centre in Colombo. President had already appointed a committee to look into the problems of the farmers and recommend subsidies for crop failure due to drought, he said, noting that the government had already provided drinking water to 12 districts at a cost of Rs. 21.8 million.

Amaraweera said that Met Department records clearly indicated that the monsoons had failed and rainfall in May and June had been very low.

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