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No Confidence In Politicians Voice Of The People

By Camelia Nathaniel-Sunday, August 25, 2013 Wijayanthimala a housewife in Digiliya

I am a mother of five children. We are unable to survive in Digiliya and as there are no employment opportunities in this area, my husband had to seek employment as a labourer in Colombo. However my husband earns only around Rs 800 per day and since Rs 200 is deducted for food daily, he manages to save around Rs 600. We have lost faith in all the politicians as they only come to visit these areas when the elections are at hand but once they have got our votes, we never see the colour of them and our issues are all forgotten. As my children are of school going age, they have to study at night and we need around a bottle of Kerosene oil per week to light a lamp for them to study. We have no electricity or water and we are facing grave difficulties as we have to travel for miles to obtain safe drinking water. We have told the authorities but no one seems to care about our grievances. We are fed up with all these politicians and this time we will not vote for anyone. Whats the point in voting for them as these people dont do anything for us?

P. Senanayake from Rawala

I am a milk farmer and we carry on our industry with the greatest difficulty. We have to spend around Rs 45 to Rs 50 to produce a litre of milk while having to spend for the upkeep of these animals, their vaccines and treatment, food, etc. After having faced all these difficulties when we give

the milk to Milco, they come back a day later and inform us that they are unable to pay us as the milk was substandard. This situation leaves us in a bad state as we then cannot bear the losses. There has to be a way of testing the milk before they take the milk from us to ensure that we provide them with the proper quality milk. Otherwise we dont know what happens to our milk as we simply have to believe them. We collectively have around 400 cows within our Suhada Milk Farmers Society while we collectively produce around 400 to 500 litres of milk per day. Each cow, if fed and maintained properly, can yield around 15 to 20 litres of milk daily; but it costs to keep them healthy. However we also have to seek second job to keep our families fed as this industry alone cannot sustain our families. There is just one veterinary surgeon for the whole 82 Grama Niladhari divisions and two animal development advisors. The government has provided several graduates for the area but they are clueless about farming practices and unable even to recognise the varieties of cows. We have to teach them rather than obtaining advice from them. Just as the elections get closer the officers and all the politicians come to the area and promise us the sun and the moon. However when the elections are over and they have reached their goals, that is the end of the whole story and our problems are no longer considered. We are really disgusted with all the politicians as all they do is somehow make money for themselves and that is all that happens. P.M. Sisira Kumara Ekanayake from Hettipola

Since engaging in cultivation was not profitable for me I gave up farming and have now embarked on a project making bricks. My wife has passed away and I had to take care of my son, but due to the inability of the government to provide us a proper market for our vegetable produce we could not find a proper market and we were losing heavily. The government only gave us the fertiliser at concessionary rates but we were drained by the cost of pesticides, etc. Therefore simply giving us the fertiliser was totally insufficient and the urea fertiliser that was given to us was also substandard. They even cheated us by offering us an insurance scheme; they only charged us for it but we did not receive any benefits. The government has let us down badly and even the purchasing of our paddy was a total failure. Whoever we vote for there is not much of a change. My father and our whole family were ardent UPFA supporters but they are all disgruntled now as a result of the actions of the government.

What is the point in us having voted for them if they have done nothing for us? There are many people in our family who feel that there is no point in voting for the beetle leaf. We had a lot of regard for Dayasiri Jayasekera, but since he has changed sides we dont feel that there is any point in voting for him. Therefore even he has lost all the support in this area as we feel that he has sold us out for his own gains. There is absolutely no point in any of these politicians as none of them are committed toward the welfare of the people and instead they are only interested in stabilising their own positions and profiting for themselves. R.M. Ratnayake a school teacher from Dagama in the Polpithigama PS division

Although we were originally farmers most of these people have to find alternate employment in order to sustain their families. I am fortunate as I still engage in paddy farming as I am also a school teacher and I have a steady income. But for many people in this area there is no proper income and they are forced to engage in farming whether they like it or not. However the authorities do not provide any facilities for the farmers in the area even though this is one of the main paddy cultivating regions. The Mahinda Chinthana vision has many recommendations and proposals for farmers and many projects for the development of the paddy industry. But ironically it is simply confined to a document that is pleasing to the reader and offers no solace for us. Posted by Thavam