Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) claimed that statistics and data do not show the correct picture of the situation prevailing in the country and the real situation in Sri Lanka was far worse.
Addressing the media, yesterday (7) SJB MP Eran Wickremaratne making a comment on the recent incident where four youth who were taken into police custody for trying to enter a wedding ceremony held at the Weligama City Hall to get food, he said, “There is a sad story where some boys sneaked into a wedding hall and ate some food and were taken to Court. What is this? The situation in our country is that there are people who have never seen meat or fish. Data should show the real story of what is going on. Data cannot tell everything, people are living under trying circumstances,” he added.
He further said there is a debate in Parliament regarding the UNICEF report on food shortage and malnutrition in the country and whether the UNICEF data was incorrect.
“I would like to start with government data. According to the 2022 report of the Department of Statistics, the minimum amount required for a month per person was Rs 12,444. If there are five people in a family it amounts to Rs 62,220. Seventy per cent of the people who are employed earn less than that. How does this 70 per cent exist in such a situation?” he queried.
He further criticised the debate on the UNICEF report and that the number of children in need of humanitarian assistance was indeed 2.2 million. Taking action to give assistance was the priority while stakeholders are criticising the report, he said.
By Nabiya Vaffoor