Today we have to hold the press conference as women against famine. There is a situation of hyper-malnutrition in the country which is beyond a hyper-inflation situation. I invite the rulers to come to the kitchen where children and women live in our country. We know that people who actively participate in the aragalaya are being arrested currently. In this regard, the first thing to say to the sataka government and the black coat government is to be careful. A never ending aragalaya is being carried out for the people of the country regardless of party, ethnic group, or caste. The women’s organization is ready to join hands with the youth for their rights and take to the streets for the unstoppable aragalaya. That is why we are joining hands with the artist Damita Abeyratne, the university students, and the people who have been tortured and arrested. It is emphasized that if women come out, it will lead to an endless aragalaya. Together we are ready to defeat both the sataka government and the black coat government.
Along with hyperinflation, our children have become malnourished. Little children fall into drains and die. The politicians who failed to give a bus for those children have estimated 190 million Rupees as damages to their vehicles. In a country with such presidents, our children have to go to school suffering from malnutrition. There are also reports of children who have died after being attacked by elephants. It is emphasized that women will take to the streets to defeat both the sataka government and the black coat government, which have put the children in a state of extreme malnutrition. It is said that a government expert team is going to check the malnutrition situation in the children’s hospital. it is good. But now the World Food Organization has revealed that 04 out of every 05 families lack food. We can see that the members of the parliament are working to protect the government by making that accusation against the mothers. We invite those who do not talk about the food crisis to come to our kitchen. The expert team is also respectfully invited to come and inspect the plantation line-rooms, fishing families, and houses belonging to farming families. Then you can see the hyperinflation and malnutrition with your own eyes.
A small packet of biscuits, which was Rs. 30 while VAT was 8% now costs Rs. 120. When the VAT increased to 15% is also added to this price, biscuits become a super luxury food. VAT is an indirect tax. The government is working to add more taxes to that tax. A new black coat tax called ‘Social Security Contribution Tax’ is added. For this tax, a compound tax will be added 2.5% each at importation, production, distribution, and retail trade four times. Can the little child be given a packet of biscuits? The black coat government imposes taxes on every essential commodity. Thus, about 25% new taxes will be added to the goods. It is clear from the announcements issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka that there is hyperinflation. At the end of August, food inflation reached 93.7%. This economy is not sustainable at all for the fishermen and plantation people who are losing their income day by day. A situation has arisen where even old parents have to go out to beg alone. If the children get sick, there is no way to even buy medicine.
Moreover, although many did not speak openly, a packet of sanitary towels, which cost Rs. 140 earlier has now increased up to Rs. 500. In a family with two or three daughters, sanitary napkins for both mothers and daughters will at least cost extra Rs. 2000. The family does not talk openly about this. Proper food cannot be provided especially when school children go to sports events. They cannot buy a pair of shoes. A pair of shoes which cost Rs. 1500 shoes have exceeded Rs. 6000 now. Sports Shoes are all over Rs. 20,000. Thus, the burden of the government’s thefts has been left on the children. Fertilizer ships are compensated. Millions of dollars are paid in late shipping fees. The black coat government is dealing with the situation where our children are deprived of clothing.
If the government is trying further to pile up the burden on the shoulders of the public, women are ready to come to the forefront of the aragalaya. Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to spread alcohol without any sociological survey to increase the government’s expenses and find income. The people of the country had to pay for the political decision on organic fertilizers. Also, the liquor license system that has been introduced to increase the government’s revenue was introduced on July 28th by the signature of Ranil Wickremesinghe. He has no concern about the social crisis caused by this and the effect on the family. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Central Bank has lifted the license ban on thieves and liquor production friends. The black coat government does not care about the harm caused to the children of our country by this. Because of this, we are asking the women of our country to prepare for the struggle to change the governance of our country. If the government does not listen to this voice, it is emphasized that women will take the lead in the struggle to send the government home.
The rulers of the country have destroyed our beautiful lives…
What I have to say to my dear fellow Sri Lankans is that the beauty of our lives is vanishing as the issues and problems keep increasing day by day. The beauty of life cannot be separated as we identify different stages of life: childhood, adulthood, and old age. Everybody’s life should be beautiful. What happened to our beautiful life as Sri Lankans? As children, we had to live with the war. Then came the racial divide. After that, we had to live with Corona. What has happened to us now? The people have had to fight in various ways due to the distorted economic, political, and social decisions taken by the rulers of the country. Especially people have to fight hyperinflation. Then where is our beautiful life? Who destroyed it? The rulers of the country destroyed it. They came to power saying that they would bring a fair rule. 56% of women voted for and elected rulers to enjoy a beautiful life with their families. But all those people have not been able to enjoy that beauty. The youth in the aragalaya are being taken away. Women who are in a serious life struggle have to spend their days being battered by economic burdens. We should all come together and live according to our will with justice in law and social justice. That was the hope of every woman who voted for this government. Therefore, I invite my dear sisters to think deeply.
It is not possible to pay the bus fare, prepare meals and get clothes from the salary earned by a working woman. What are we left with? Repeatedly fall prey to the vicious cycle of poverty learned in childhood. Let’s make a little sacrifice to get rid of this. For that, you are invited to change. Give the results of that change to your children. Make your life beautiful too. This country is beautiful. We need opportunities to make our lives beautiful. Do we need this type of governance if the people in power in the government have taken political decisions for the benefit of themselves and their family’s cronies and have condemned the people to enjoy the comfort of the country? Food insecurity, health insecurity, and not only young children, pregnant mothers, and elderly people but also young people have become insecure. We should think about making political decisions for living a dignified human life, not this kind of life. Are we going to live life like this? If not, are we going to save all citizens by joining the aragalaya to demand our rights? I think all religious centres should raise this issue. All priests are requested to pay attention to this matter. Otherwise, there will be a time when all citizens experience a society with no humanity.