Government subsidies for third child. But only for the armed forces.
An Anglican priest in Sri Lanka believes the third child subsidy is an attempt to create a Sinhalese and Buddhist majority population.
by Melani Manel Perera
05/16/2012 Sri Lanka (AsiaNews)-The government of Sri Lanka has decided to allocate 100 thousand rupees (600 euros) to the families of Navy, Air Force, Army and Police personnel who decide to have a third child. According to Fr. Marimuttu Sathivel, an Anglican priest and activist for human rights, the move is discriminatory towards the rest of the population. For this, the religious together with Buddhist activist Priyadharshani Ariyarathna has drawn up a Declaration of public interest against the government of Sri Lanka, calling on them to extend this incentive to all households in the country.
The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has allocated this financial help with the 2010 budget (for members of the three armed forces of the country) and that of 2011 (extended to police officers). The ambiguity of the proposal is accentuated by other negative policies. In recent decades the government has conducted numerous family planning campaigns, to push the Sri Lankan families to have a maximum of two children. In addition, over the past few months there is an attempt to legalize abortion. From the outset the Church has objected to this proposal, instead of promoting the value of the family with various initiatives.
According to the two activists, the decision is a "mistake" that could lead to an "ethnic crisis", because the military is 98% Sinhalese and Buddhist. "It is an attempt - said Fr. Sathivel - to create a population of a single ethnicity and religion."