Colombo extorts money from administrative officers in North citing pandemic relief work

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 April 2020, 22:18 GMT]
District and Divisional Secretariat officials, as well as Samurdhi Development officers in Jaffna, say their salaries were cut down under three different categories labelling the extortion as contribution to COVID-19 related relief work in the district. One thousand five hundred rupees have been deducted from the pay sheets of staff-level workers for April month without their concession. Similarly, one thousand rupees were cut off from the salaries of middle-level officers and five-hundred-rupees from minor officers. Apart from the issue of extortion, there was no transparency with regards to how the money was being spent, Divisional Secretariat officials in Jaffna complained. In the meantime, the occupying SL military has been collecting details from Divisional Secretariats on the assistance provided by Community-Based Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations during the curfew.

SL Governor to North MSM Charles is trying to use the extorted money as an extraordinary measure of assistance undertaken by her office, the officials alleged.

The occupying SL military has been collecting particulars of youth groups, religious organisations as well as CBOs and NGOs involved in distributing relief materials to those in need during the curfew.

The unitary state and provincial authorities, subjected to military control have provided the details of funds utilised by the CBOs and NGOs. This was used as an excuse by the SL State to divert its allocations towards the South, the officials said.

The unitary state has not taken any extraordinary relief measures while imposing the curfew in Jaffna district, which was one of the six districts subjected to a continuous curfew.

The only measure taken was the advance payment made to Samurdhi beneficiaries and that too was based on the savings of the recipients.

The SL military, enforcing the curfew with its patrols and deploying personnel at the checkpoints on all the roads, was not doing any sanitation or relief work as witnessed in the South, the officials further said.

Meanwhile, cross infections have been reported at the dormitory-style isolation centre operated by the occupying SL military at Kaangkeasan-thu'rai in Jaffna.


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