SJB protests fertiliser crisis in Parliament
By Methmalie Dissanayake
SJB MPs staged a protest inside the Parliament Chamber on Friday (22) demanding the Government to immediately intervene to provide a solution for the fertiliser crisis in the country. The MPs held posters and placards and chanted slogans that the Government has failed to provide solutions to the crisis faced by the country’s farmers. The Government MPs heckled them in response. The protest started just after the commencement of public business following a statement by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella.
“The Government promised to implement a 10-year programme to convert the country to only use organic fertiliser. However, this decision has caused many inconveniences to farmers because the Government tried to implement the entire programme within just one year. How can you do this? Who takes decisions like this?” he questioned. Then the SJB MPs started to chant the slogan: “Diyavu Diyavu Pohora Diyavu” (Give us fertiliser).
MP Harsha de Silva said they are protesting against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his “ad-hoc decision” to ban chemical fertilisers. “This decision has affected the entire agriculture sector in Sri Lanka. Now they want to import chemical nano nitrogen (urea). This is too late now,” he stressed. MP Imtiyas Bakeer Markar noted that islandwide protests have erupted against the shortage of fertiliser. The protest continued for about 20 minutes and Parliament proceedings continued as usual.