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Government servants in the North-East areas have not received their risk allowances since January this year. These areas are at present under military control.
Government servants have been receiving 25 percent of their salaries as a risk allowance.
All government servants in the North, East and the borderline areas where fighting is going on are entitled to the allowance to compensate for the difficulties and risk faced by them.
A senior government servant, K. Shanmugalingam based in the north, said: "As a result of the non-payment of the allowance employees are placed in a difficult financial situation.
"People have to pay exorbitant prices in these regions as house rent and for other basic essentials,".
Secretary the Public Administration Ministry R.S. Jayaratna commenting on the non-payment of the allowance said, "this year the government plans to cancel the payment for some areas which they consider as no longer risk areas and to grant this payment to government servants in the newly identified regions as risk areas'. Government Agent and Trincomalee District Secretary S. P. Chandradasa said, "The payment of risk allowances is reviewed every year and this year we have appealed to the government to continue with the payment and are awaiting a response. So far we have not received any response."
Last year the allowances of those employed in the Kahatagasdeniya region in the Anuradhapura District were taken away, saying that there was no risk for the employees in the region by government officials. But this is one of the areas where fighting existed at the time.
A grand-nephew of the iron man of Sri Lankan politics and a legend in his time, Sir John Kotelawala is contesting the forthcoming Municipal Council elections, following in the footsteps of his illustrious relative.
Nominated by the UNP, Bharatha Kotelawala (34) is happy about his nomination. Holding a Masters' degree in International Marketing and having studied in the US, Bharatha told 'The Sunday Times' that, he would like to uphold the name of his grand-uncle, Sir John.
'Politics is nothing new to me, as it is in our family blood,' he said. Son of Douglas Kotelawala, this young man says he wants to serve the people of his country. "Local politics may be the stepping stone for me to plunge into national politics later on," he said.
The UNP leadership has nominated a group of youngsters to contest elections. This augurs well for the future of the party," Bharatha said. Commenting on how the people would respond at the polls, he said "the people are quite intelligent enough to elect their candidates who would do a good job of work."
Going on a house-to-house campaign from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. and then from 5 pm to 7.30 pm, Bharatha so far has had no hassles with his opponents. But was quick to say that many of the voters to whom he had spoken to had one thing to say: "We are fed up of false promises".
Garbage clearance and the cleanliness of the city are foremost in the minds of all those living in the city and we have to give it top priority, he said.
"Today, politics in Sri Lanka has come to a stage where no one can cheat or fool the voters, however powerful he or she may be," was Bharatha's parting shot as he began his house-to-house campaign.
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