Samurdhi officers sent North makes JVP smell a rat

By Dasun Edirisinghe

The JVP-backed All Ceylon Samurdhi Officers’ Union (ACSOU) yesterday said it smelt a rat in the government’s sudden decision to send six teams of Samurdhi officers to five districts in the Northern Province.

ACSOU General Secretary Chamara Maddumakaluge said that though the government claimed that the officers were sent to the North, on an inspection tour, as it intended to establish Samurdhi Bank branches there, the real purpose was to make them work for the UPFA in its polls campaign.

Maddumakaluge said that the Samurdhi Authority had given Rs. 30,000 to each officer as an allowance in addition to the salary.

"Normally, the inspection of Samurdhi banks is carried out by the Finance Unit of the Authority. However, this time officials from the Rural and Social Development division of the Authority have been sent to the North for inspection, which proves that they have been sent on a political tour," he said.

Maddumakaluge said that it was a clear violation of election laws and if new Samurdhi banks were opened in the Northern Province, in the run- up to the election, it would be an election violation.

The Island made several attempts to contact Samurdhi Director General R. P. Gamini Tilakasiri, in this connection, without success.

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