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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Government throughout betrayed the rice farmer

[b]Government throughout betrayed the rice farmer [/b]

Q Perera - Reporting from Colombo

[b]Colombo, 07 Octobrt, ( [/b]For several years it has been the sad story of the country’s rice bowl boiling with the tears of the farmers who have toiled to obtain bumper harvests and selling their paddy ‘for a song’. The position is so pathetic and miserable that there were incidents of selling a kilo of paddy for rupees five, while a coconut is sold at more than Rs 12 per nut and a spate of farmers committing suicide unable to continue life and meeting their debts.

Travel through Polonnaruwa, Hingurakgoda, Minneriya, Dambulla, Welikande, Kaduruwela and Kowdulla and also areas of Padaviya and Anuradhapura and you are bound to encounter the horrendous situation, agony and the damnation of the lives of those who feed the nation. Their pathetic conditions further compounded due to the major false campaigns carried out by the government indicating that the farmers’ demands are met and paddy purchases have been initiated and accelerated.

The situation in these areas are tense and volatile, where the deception at the ministerial level has angered them. Earlier in April this year when there was a bumper harvest, the then, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Land and Irrigation Anura Kumara Dissanayake proclaimed that an unprecedented amount of Rupees one billion was apportioned to purchase paddy, the farmers in these areas challenged the Minister to prove his proclamation with statistics.

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