Sri Lanka government has been urged to urgently launch a humanitarian operation, with a focus on preventing national level starvation and social unrest , in partnership with the civil society, the women’s association collective said.
They have demande several measures based on the premise that the government must prioritize the basic needs of the citizenry. The government in all its negotiations within and outside the country, to emerge from the present economic crisis, must address basic public needs by allocating and reallocating resources accordingly.
It has been suggested to implement an island-wide food distribution system to reach all households with basic essential ration packs – this should include rice, oil, sugar, tea, dhal and triposha.
Existing systems of Sathosa, Samurdhi and Cooperatives should be strengthened to reach everyone, they said adding that ensuring food security through controlling kerosene and gas prices; urgent support and subsidies to farmers; and relief for fisheries and other farming communities must be implemented immediately..
A people-centred Samurdhi support system that upholds its original vision must be strengthened as such benefits are being cut in many districts and different excuses are given at the community level.
The government must respond to the reality that more families are falling below the poverty-line and expand Samurdhi benefits and increase monthly Samurdhi payments to match the rising cost of living, they pointed out.
Health sector must be supported by the State to secure and provide medicines, other essential medical equipment, health products and reproductive health services.
They also urged e the government to implement progressive taxation to meet the country’s public revenue needs, including introducing appropriate wealth taxes. Such taxation must not add to the burden of the poor and working people of the country.
The Government must ensure that public revenues are utilised to implement social security programmes that are responding to the crisis alongside measures to recover the economy, they claimed.