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Political parties together to fight Covid-19

Local News: Steps will be taken to obtain assistance from leaders of political parties and their members who served the last Parliament for the government’s program to prevent the Covid-19 spreading throughout the world, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said today.

Premier Rajapaksa came to this decision at a meeting yesterday at Temple Trees with the Party leaders and their members who headed the last Parliament. This decision was taken by the Prime Minister after taking into account the views held by Party members and their representatives.

For futureCovid-19 mitigation should also take into account the views of the party members and their representatives.

A systematic plan is underway centering the country’s National Operation Center forCovid-19 Outbreak Prevention on the Government’s Directive.

Party leaders commended the steps taken by the government to prevent the spread ofCovid-19 in the country and also assured their full cooperation towards the Government’s actions to be taken in the future in this regard.

Health Services Director-General Dr. Anil Jasinghe heard about the current situation in the country from the party leaders and their members. The Party leaders have reflected on the effect that the outbreak has had on the economy of the country and on steps that need to be taken to minimize its economic effects.

We have emphasized the importance of continuing to provide vital services to the public through the present programme.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa said arrangements were made for citizens to purchase essential commodities through cooperatives and outlets at Lak Sathosa, and this system will be further simplified in the future.

The participants also addressed opening tea factories and plucking tea leaves and holding the wholesale shops open to give people relief.

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said the curfew should be enforced to prevent the congregation of citizens, while commending the government’s measures.

He also suggested that the leave given to workers who are not in the compulsory services would continue.

Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya also commended the program of the government and called on the government to set up a system for people to buy essential commodities without any inconvenience.

The Party leaders pointed out that fishing communities face hardship as they are not permitted to transport their produce during the curfew. The Prime Minister, in effect, ordered the Acting IGP to arrange for fishermen to be able to transport their produce without any hassles.

Several members of the Party were of the belief that Parliament would be convened again. The majority, however, agreed that they would lend their full support to the new national plan aimed at preventing theCovid-19 outbreak rather than reconvening the parliament.

It was attended by UNP chief Ranil Wickremesinghe, former president Maithripala Sirisena, former minister Basil Rajapaksa, ministers Dinesh Gunawardene, Bandula Gunawardena, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Wimal Weerawansa, former president Karu Jayasuriya and SLMC member Rauff Hakeem, former parliamentarians Sumanthiran, Udaya Gammanpila and many other political leaders.