Published on: February 29, 2024

The relief entitled under ‘Aswesuma’ will be provided to all eligible recipients immediately

  • Government officials’ assistance needed to distribute “Aswesuma” and “Urumaya” to the public – Says the President.

Wilgamuwa Grama Niladhari Association expresses unconditional support for government’s ‘Aswesuma’ and ‘Urumaya’ programs in presence of the President.

  • The President joins investigation into issues faced by ‘Aswesuma’ beneficiaries and Grama Niladhari officials.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the “Aswesuma” and “Urumaya” programs play a significant role in sustaining the livelihoods of people in a country facing economic challenges. He assured that immediate relief would be provided to all those entitled to it.

The President emphasized the significance of government officials’ support in promptly delivering the “Aswesuma” and “Urumaya” programs to the people.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made this statement during a meeting discussing the implementation of the “Aswesuma” program at the Matale, Wilgamuwa Divisional Secretariat this morning (29).

It is noteworthy that the Wilgamuwa Grama Niladhari Association declared unconditional support for the government’s program in presence of the President.

Applications for the second phase of Aswesuma commenced on February 15, and as of today (29), a total of 35,920 new applications have been received. Of these, 14,537 applications were submitted through the Divisional Secretary, while 21,383 applications were submitted via the online system.

As of today, the highest number of applications for the second phase of Aswesuma has been received from Nuwara Eliya district, totalling 4,892. Following closely behind, Kandy district has submitted 4,708 applications, while Ratnapura district has submitted 2,971 applications.

A total of 2,243 applications have been received from Ampara district, with Colombo district following closely behind with 2,099 applications. Meanwhile, Monaragala district has submitted 2,017 applications and Gampaha district has provided 1,887 applications.

Additionally, Kurunegala district has contributed 1,633 applications, with Puttalam district closely matching with 1,632 applications. Polonnaruwa district has submitted 1,408 applications in total.

From Batticaloa district, a total of 1,405 applications have been received, while Badulla district has submitted 1,289 applications and Kalutara district has forwarded 1,166 applications. The number of applications received from Galle district is 981, with Hambantota district closely following with 954 applications. Anuradhapura district has 782 applications and Trincomalee district has submitted 687 applications.

Moreover, 570 new applications have been received from Kegalle district, with Jaffna district following closely behind with 525 applications. Additionally, 472 applications have been received from Matara district, while 451 applications have been received from Kilinochchichi district. Meanwhile, Matale district has submitted 421 applications, and Vavnia district has submitted 389 applications in total.

In addition, 183 new applications have been received from Mullaitivu district, while 155 new applications have been received from Mannar district.

In the initial phase, nearly 2 million people are already benefiting from the program, and the objective is to extend relief to 2.4 million individuals, including new applicants with the second phase.

This visit marks the first time a President has visited the Wilgamuwa Regional Secretariat. President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the Corporate Division, Accounting and Finance Division, observing their activities.

Meanwhile, President Ranil Wickremesinghe also recorded his visit in the logbook of the Divisional Secretariat.

Then President Ranil Wickremesinghe participated in a discussion with all the Divisional Secretaries of the Matale District in the main auditorium of the Divisional Secretariat, where he examined the operations of the “Aswesuma” program and addressed the issues that have arisen in the district.

Following this, the President engaged in a discussion with the beneficiaries and provided positive responses to many of the problems they raised.

Meanwhile, the President had a cordial discussion with the Grama Niladhari officers from the Wilgamuwa Divisional Secretariat, where they discussed their professional challenges. He also expressed appreciation for their support for the Aswasuma and Urumaya programs.

During the meeting, President Wickremesinghe provided additional remarks, stating:

“We have been diligently working on implementing the provision of insurance benefits since last year. My visit to Wilgamuwa today aims to assess the effectiveness of this program.

Assuming the presidency amidst a severe economic downturn and bankruptcy, I recognized the urgency of addressing the country’s financial crisis. Unfortunately, during that period, no leader stepped forward to navigate the nation through these dire economic challenges. Consequently, many individuals lost their jobs and faced significant livelihood struggles.

Hence, I assumed the responsibility of ensuring the survival of our nation’s people. Consequently, we embarked on economic revitalization efforts to bolster our country’s financial stability. To safeguard the fundamental right to livelihood, we established the “Aswesuma” program, providing financial aid to those in need. Through “Aswasuma,” we have tripled the assistance provided to the population compared to the Samurdhi program.

Our objective is to meticulously identify all deserving beneficiaries and promptly provide them with the necessary aid. By addressing challenges through open dialogue and proactive measures, we aim to ensure the success and efficacy of this program.

Initially, there were approximately 1.6 million Samurdhi beneficiaries in our country. However, we aim to expand the number of ‘Aswesuma’ beneficiaries to 2.4 million.

Additionally, the government has endeavoured to raise the salaries of public servants. Beginning the month of April, they will receive an additional LKR 10,000. During my tenure as Prime Minister in 2015, I spearheaded efforts to augment the salaries of public servants by LKR 10,000. While another salary increment was initially scheduled for ten years later, economic constraints prompted us to implement it in 2024.

We have also executed the Urumaya program, which grants freehold land to all those who have received land licenses under the Land Development Act since 1935. This initiative resolves the longstanding issue faced by people by affirming their legal right to the land.

Under the Urumaya program, 02 million free land deeds are being distributed, with 01 million deeds planned to be issued by the end of this year. Through these programs, our goal is to establish a secure economic foundation for the people.

The successful execution of the Aswasuma and Urumaya programs largely relies on the efforts of Divisional Secretariats. It is imperative that we remain committed to creating a brighter future for our people through these initiatives.

This program holds the potential to revolutionize the country’s economy. Currently, we are witnessing significant growth in the nation’s wealth, indicating a positive trajectory. Consequently, we are optimistic about implementing strategies to bolster income streams within this province. Particularly, we envision the development of this province as a prominent tourist destination.

Moreover, plans are underway to modernize agricultural practices and expand the spice industry for export. We are also looking into establishing new plantations for cocoa and coffee with the involvement of new investors. Through these initiatives, we aim to enhance the livelihoods of the people in the Matale district.

Mr.Jayantha Weerasekara, former Chairman of the Wilgamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, praised President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the sole leader offering positive guidance during the nation’s economic downturn. He commended the President’s visionary leadership, recognizing his role in rebuilding the country amid economic collapse, thereby rescuing it from dire circumstances and fostering a conducive environment for livelihoods.

Moreover, Mr. Tennakoon confirmed the support of the people of the Matale District and advocated for the inclusion of Wilgamuwa Park in the list of tourist zones. He urged the development of a program aimed at attracting more tourists to the province.

Central Province Governor Lalit. U. Gamage, State Minister Pramita Bandara Tennakoon, Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, Member of Parliament Nalaka Bandara Kottagoda, Chairman of the Welfare Benefit Board Jayantha Wijeratne, along with a group of government officials and Aswesuma beneficiaries, attended the event.

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