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Monthly allowance for Saalawa residents extended for 3 months


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The monthly allowance pledged to residents of Saalawa would be continued for another three months, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake assured yesterday.

The Minister said that the relevant Cabinet paper would be presented jointly with the Disaster Management Ministry soon.

Earlier, it has been decided to pay each affected family an allowance of Rs. 50,000 for three months. The compensation was paid for the households who completely lost their residences after the emergency situation erupted in Saalawa Army camp on 5 June.

However, the families who lost their houses are still living in rented houses and steps have been taken to pay them the Rs. 50, 000 allowance for another three months, Minister Karunanayake said.

Karunanayake expressed these views during a special meeting held on Wednesday to review the problems of residents who lost their property by the emergency situation of Saalawa Army Camp. Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Science and Technology Research Minister Susil Premajayantha were also present at the meeting. 

In addition, Colombo District Secretary Sunil Kannangara, Seethawaka Divisional Secretary M.M.K. Bandara, representatives from Department of Valuation, Urban Development Authority and affected residents participated in the meeting.

The members who represented Saalawa affected people educated the two ministers about the day to day problems they are compelled to face due to the loss of their original houses. They also drew the attention of the two Ministers to the anomalies that had occurred in paying compensation as well as estimating the damage to houses and shops.

At that point, it was agreed to put up makeshift structures in a land belonged to the Army to enable the affected businessmen to restart their ventures. These businessmen have lost their livelihood after their places of business were completely destroyed. It was also discussed ways and means to compensate the families who are not satisfied with the houses built for them by the Army.

At this juncture, Karunanayake instructed the relevant authorities to look into the said faults. He also said that the Government was ready to be flexible towards the other problems of the affected residents if any. In addition, the Minister stressed that the Saalawa residents too, should extend their fullest cooperation towards the Government at this emergency situation.

It is also decided to hold another meeting on 13 October to review the progress of the decision taken at the today’s meeting. After the discussion was over today, Secretary of the Collective of Saalawa Affected Residents Chandana Suriyaarachchi expressed his views to the media. 

Suriyaarachchi stated that his organisation is happy about the favourable response made in its part by the Finance Ministry towards the Saalawa residents since the day of the incident.


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