‘Immediate provision of Aswesuma relief entitlement to all eligible recipients’

The President highlighted the importance of government officials’ support in efficiently delivering the “Aswesuma” and “Urumaya” programs to the public.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe mentioned this during a meeting discussing the implementation of the “Aswesuma” program at the Matale, Wilgamuwa Divisional Secretariat on the morning of the 29th.

The Wilgamuwa Grama Niladhari Association pledged unconditional support for the government’s program in the presence of the President.

The applications for the second phase of Aswesuma started on February 15, and by the 29th, a total of 35,920 new applications had been received. Out of these, 14,537 applications were submitted through the Divisional Secretary, while 21,383 applications came through the online system.

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

Additionally, 2,243 applications were received from Ampara district, with Colombo district following closely with 2,099 applications. Monaragala district submitted 2,017 applications, and Gampaha district provided 1,887 applications.

Furthermore, Kurunegala district contributed 1,633 applications, almost matching with Puttalam district’s 1,632 applications. Polonnaruwa district submitted a total of 1,408 applications.

Batticaloa district sent in 1,405 applications, while Badulla district submitted 1,289 applications and Kalutara district forwarded 1,166 applications. Galle district had 981 applications, with Hambantota district closely following with 954 applications. Anuradhapura district received 782 applications, and Trincomalee district submitted 687 applications.

Additionally, 570 new applications were received from Kegalle district, with Jaffna district following closely with 525 applications. Matara district had 472 applications, while Kilinochchichi district received 451 applications. Matale district submitted 421 applications, and Vavnia district provided 389 applications in total.

In addition, 183 new applications were received from Mullaitivu district, while 155 new applications came from Mannar district.

In the initial phase, nearly 2 million people are currently benefiting from the program, with the goal being 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.

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

Following this, President Ranil Wickremesinghe had a discussion with all the Divisional Secretaries of the Matale District in the main auditorium of the Divisional Secretariat, examining the operations of the “Aswesuma” program and addressing the issues in the district.

Later on, the President engaged in a discussion with the beneficiaries, providing positive responses to many of the problems they raised.

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

During the meeting, President Wickremesinghe added the following remarks:

“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 endeavored to raise the salaries of public servants. Beginning in 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. K. A. G. Tennakoon, 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.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of government officials’ support in delivering the “Aswesuma” and “Urumaya” programs efficiently to the people. The Wilgamuwa Grama Niladhari Association declared unconditional support for the programs in the President’s presence. The second phase of the Aswesuma program has received a total of 35,920 new applications, with the highest number of applications coming from Nuwara Eliya district. The President discussed the success of the programs with Divisional Secretaries, beneficiaries, and Grama Niladhari officers, highlighting the government’s efforts to provide financial aid and land rights to the people. Various government officials and beneficiaries attended the event, recognizing the President’s leadership in economic revitalization efforts.

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