Opposition MP’s allegation forces shut down of free food programme
A charity that has been providing free meals to thousands of people a day at three hospitals in and around Colombo has ceased operations allegedly due to political interference.
The Muslim run charity “Janaposha” which provided free food for patients as well as accompanying family members shut down their operations today.
This is after Joint Opposition Member of Parliament Gamini Lokuge was quoted by the Divaina newspaper as saying that he was “suspicious” of the free food programme.
‘Janaposha’ has been distributing meals at Colombo General Hospital, Colombo South Teaching Hospital and Maharagama Apeksha Hospital for more than three years.
In a statement released on Social Media, the Janaposha Foundation said it was closing down “with sadness and a heavy heart.”
It added that “its noble intention of serving the poor and underprivileged has been misconstrued.”
Janaposha has thus far provided meals to more than a thousand people a day which has especially befitted those who come to the hospitals from rural areas.
Leading lawyer Mohamed Ali Sabry posted on his Facebook account saying “thanks to Gamini Lokuge, Janaposha which gave 1450 meals a day to the poorest of the poor has closed down.”
The Divaina newspaper reports that Lokuge expressed his suspicions that the free meals contained “sterilizing tablets” that made women infertile.
The Divaina newspaper says it received a phone call denying that Lokuge had made the comment but its Editor says he has not got a formal clarification from the MP.