The government has refuted claims raised by various parties over the lack of state sponsored funding for the Poson Program being held in Anuradhapura this year.
In a media release, the President’s Media Division states that 02 State Ministries and one Department has already allocated Rs. 28.8 million for the purpose.
According to the PMD media release, Ven. Valahangunawewe Dhammarathana Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Mihintale Rajamaha Viharaya, has forwarded an estimate of Rs.17 million to the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, specifically for the Mihintale Poson Perahara.
It adds that the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs – Mr. Somaratne Widanapathirana has informed allocating such a large sum of money is not possible within the financial regulations imposed by Parliament and that the ministry has approved a sum of Rs. 3.1 million from its budget head allocations for the 2023 National Poson Festival.
“Secretary of the Public Administration Ministry K.D.N. Ranjith Asoka also said that an additional Rs.10 million has also been disbursed to the District Secretariats under the approval of the Anuradhapura District Secretary,” it adds.
“The National Water Supply and Drainage Board have agreed to supply 30,000 cubic meters of water for the drinking water and sanitary needs during the National Poson Festival… The Water Supply and Drainage Board Chairman, Mr. Nishantha Ranatunga, stated that the cost of these water-related services, including the installation of water tanks and tap systems at gathering places and providing water to the tanks along the Perahara route for the elephants, amounts to Rs. 15.7 million (excluding VAT), which will be covered corporately,” the media release further notes.
The complete media release issued by the PMD in this regard is as follows :