Marrikar pins blame on Govt. for food shortage

Tuesday, 7 September 2021 02:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Alleges militarisation motive behind use of emergency laws to tackle issues of essential items

SJB MP S.M. Marikkar


Main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian S.M. Marrikar yesterday charged that the Government was responsible for the food crisis and that the use of emergency regulations to tackle shortage was with the ulterior motive of furthering militarisation in the country.

Speaking during the debate on the Declaration of a State of Emergency and Regulations for the Maintenance of Essential Supplies and Services, Marikkar said that the Government had the option of using the regulations under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act or Disaster Management Act to deal with the food shortage. 

“These laws can be used to take action against any hoarders of essential items, if any. Instead, the President resorted to the use of emergency regulations with the ulterior motive of furthering militarisation,” the SJB MP charged.

He also said that “so-called” stocks of sugar which the Government showcased as being hoarded wasn’t true. “Customs and the Consumer Affairs Authority are aware of these stocks as they have been duly notified. If they were hoarding as alleged by the Government, then legal action can be taken. However, the Government indeed was buying these stocks and re-selling to the public.”

Marrikar also said that different interpretations over the use of emergency regulations had led to a volley of negative press globally for Sri Lanka, thereby impacting the tourism industry which was hoping for an early revival. “Will tourists come when the Government via its action tells the world there is a food crisis and starvation in Sri Lanka,” Marrikar queried.

The SJB MP also criticised the Government for hiding behind the food crisis and sugar shortage, among other essential items, to divert public attention from the bigger scandal of antigen testing and urgent medication for COVID “benefitting its cronies in the healthcare sector”. 


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