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Former President and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Maithripala Sirisena says that it is likely he will not be able to visit Polonnaruwa in the future due to the tragedy faced by farmers in the area due to the lack of fertiliser.
 
The former President made this observation yesterday (10) addressing the 21st death anniversary commemoration of former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike at the SLFP Headquarters.


He said that the farmers have been stranded due to the unprecedented crisis in the agriculture sector caused due to the lack of fertiliser in the country. He stressed that this was the most significant tragedy in recent history faced by the agriculture sector.

"I don't know if I will be able to go to Polonnaruwa in this situation. They may say I am now unwelcome due to the frustration and stress faced by them," he said.

 



Dayasiri's take:

Speaking at the commemoration ceremony, SLFP General Secretary State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said, "It was not possible to import fertiliser from China and then we sought to purchase from India. Now China wants to know why we cannot purchase from them. Both China and India have got involved in the fertiliser issue and it has come to a point where they are now forcefully trying to give us their fertiliser."

Meanwhile, around 40 government backbenchers have requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to provide the necessary chemical fertilisers required for paddy, vegetables and export crops, 'Lankadeepa' newspaper reported.

Since farmers are facing a severe crisis due to the lack of chemical fertilisers and agrochemicals, the backbenchers have therefore requested the President to consider their request to allow the use of chemical fertilisers.

For months, farmers across many areas in Sri Lanka have been protesting against the shortage of fertiliser in the country.

The ban on chemical fertilisers — widely used in the tea and rice industries — was opposed by farmers who staged protests after reporting failing vegetable crops as existing stocks began to run out within weeks.

After Minister of Plantation Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana had pointed out that the tea industry is in dire need of stocks of fertiliser at the last cabinet meeting, the President had instructed authorities to take action to provide certain essential ingredients required for tea cultivation.