About 95 per cent of the Easter Sunday victims’ families were paid compensation now, said Leader of the House, Public Enterprise, Kandyan Heritage and Kandy Development Minister Lakshman Kiriella.
Responding to a point of order raised by UPFA Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekara on the payment of compensation for Easter Sunday victims, he said that the opposition could ask for a debate in the House on the issue, so that they could produce their figures and the government could explain the real situation.
“As far as I know, about 95 per cent of the victims were compensated,” the Minister said.
Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Deputy Minister Edward Gunasekara explained that the family members of the victims at the Katuwapitiya church blast were compensated but five families. “Those five families cannot be located as either all family members are victims or they cannot be located and that is the reason for them not being paid,” he said.
UPFA Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, raising a point of order, said that the kith and kin of the Easter Sunday victims continue to suffer since the government has failed to compensate them.
He said the government had promised to pay Rs. 500,000 each to the 264 persons killed in the Easter Sunday terror attacks. “It was revealed in Court that only 20 were compensated. Of the 101 injured persons, only six or seven were compensated. His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and other religious leaders have repeatedly raised the issue. But the government continues to say that they compensated them all. Now the real figures are revealed in court. Attorney-at-Law Chamil Perera has filed a fundamental rights petition with these figures. It was filed at the Supreme Court seeking compensation for those who were killed or injured in the Easter Sunday attacks which took place because of the negligence of officials. Everybody is cursing all of us including the President, Prime Minister, Ministers and all 225 MPs. People say Parliament should have been bombed. Why does the government delay compensating them? The family members are still suffering the loss of their loved ones. If the government could compensate them, it would at least be some solace to them,” MP Jayasekera said.
When Minister Kiriella said a debate could be requested to address these issues in Parliament, MP Jayasekera responded that there is no point in debating it in Parliament. “What should be done is expedite the paying of compensations. What is the point of giving those figures here? Go before Supreme Court and tell court if you have figures different from the ones in the petition,” he added