Connect with us


Sri Lanka to pay Rs 5 Bn in pending EPF, ETF to state plantation workers

Share with your friends:

ECONOMYNEXT – Some beggars at traffic lights in Sri Lanka’s capital earn 20,000 rupees a day in tax free income, police said urging the public not to give them money.

“The Police can only detain beggars and produce them in courts, then they pay a fine and are back on the street within a week,” DIG Traffic, Indika Hapugoda said.

“We have tried rehabilitating them, and offering them jobs that pay 2,000-3,000 rupees a day, but they ask us ‘Why would we want to do that when we earn 15,000 to 20,000 rupees a day from begging?’”

Beggars are a frequent sight in Colombo. Some have wounds, others have apparently slumberous infants and toddlers in their arms. This is in most instances a business venture, DIG Hapugoda said. “Some carry infants who have been drugged, and some are drug addicts themselves.”

“If the public stops giving them money we will be able to see a reduction in beggars. Even if we arrest and rehabilitate them, they come back to this business because people give.”

Hapugoda was speaking at a press briefing on addressing the ‘Beggar Menace at Traffic Lights in Colombo City Limits’ jointly organized with the Automobile Association of Ceylon.

AAC is asking “Motorists to refrain from offering charity to beggars near traffic lights, specially in Colombo City limits and suburbs,” AAC Project Manager Prasanna De Soysa said.

The 120-year association said that it bid to host an international summit in Colombo but was told to address the beggars at traffic lights issue first.

Some of the high earning beggars are acting out a role to gain the sympathy of the public, DIG Hapugoda said. “They come in vehicles and change their clothes.”

“When they don’t get money there are some who damage the vehicle by scratching it with a sharp object,” he said. “Some knock themselves on the vehicle and claim they were injured by motorists and claim damages.”

“We arrested 94 recently, and produced them in courts. But they cannot be held for long. They pay a fine and are released on bail. Then they return to the streets.”

It has also been found that many have land an properties, Hapugoda said.

Sri Lankans, due to religious and cultural beliefs, tend to help people, Deputy Director Engineering (Traffic & Road Design) Eng U K M K Kularathna said, “It’s in our nature. But it has a huge impact when beggars cause an obstruction at traffic lights. We are not saying don’t give alms; We are only saying not to do so at traffic lights.”

There are 180 traffic lights in Colombo, and 350 in other cities. (Colombo/Apr29/2024)

Continue Reading

Source link

Share with your friends:
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.