The main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), finds itself embroiled in controversy as reports emerge that several of its MPs had received Rs. 50 million each from the government's decentralized budget without nod from the party leadership.

In the past, the governments used to allocate funds to MPs in the opposition to carry out development projects of their choice in their constituencies. H

owever, such allocations have not taken place for the past five years,

Instead, financial allocations for the same purpose were channeled through the district coordinating committees during the period.

The current government has implemented the project and some SJB MPs have secured allocations according to a renewed criterion introduced by the government led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to make sure that money is not used for charity work but employment generation activities.

Among the SJB MPs who received such allocations are Gayantha Karunatilake, Dr. Harsha de Silva, Ajith Mannapperuma, Kavinda Jayawardane and J. C. Alawatuwala.

However, these MPs have not sought approval from the party leadership to get funds from the government.

Asked for a comment in this regard, SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara said none of these MPs secured the party approval for it.

“We will raise the matter at the next parliamentary group meeting,” he said.

An MP who got Rs. 50 million said the opposition MPs are entitled to this benefit and therefore he applied for financial allocation to carry out people centric work.

“There is nothing wrong in carrying out such work. We are entitled to benefit from the decentralized budget. I don’t see any need to contact the party hierarchy,” he said.


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