ST story on census ‘distorting’, says Ministry

No mention of printing error as cause of delay

The Ministry of Finance & Planning, in an unusual letter, says that, last week's the Sunday Times report on the postponement of the national census, is "totally distorting." However, a statement accompanying the letter confirms the report in its entirety.

How the Sunday Times reported the story last week

The Sunday Times spoke to the Census & Statistics Department Acting Director General H.R. Gunasekara to ascertain why such a letter and a statement, one contradicting the other, have been issued by the Ministry, to which he said, "I have no comment to make."

Finance & Planning Ministry Information & Public Relations Director M.G. Jayatissa, who had signed the letter, told the Sunday Times, ‘the clarification’ was sent to the Ministry by the Census & Statistics Department. “I have only forwarded the letter to the newspaper”, he said.

Here is the statement of the Ministry of Finance & Planning, which further confirms the facts contained in last week’s front page report:

“The printing of Census schedules (Questionnaires to collect information) has been awarded to a private company. They agreed to deliver the printed schedules from October 10, on a daily basis, in batches. Department of Census & Statistics has made arrangements to distribute the schedules throughout the island, based on the delivery plan provided. Training classes for Census supervisors and enumerators, and the Census activities were arranged accordingly.

“But the company was unable to deliver the printed schedules according to the agreed daily delivery plan. Therefore, the Department is compelled to postpone, temporarily, the training classes for census supervisors and enumerators, and the subsequent census activities.

“The Department expects to reschedule the Census activities after reviewing the situation”.

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