Thousands of protesting Samurdhi officers thronged the streets of Kelaniya, protesting the actions of Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva. Silva had earlier tied a Samurdhi officer to a tree for not attending a dengue prevention course. Silva had earlier pledged to takes such action to fight the growing spread of dengue, blaming it on inaction by local government officials.
Later Silva said that the official had volunteered to be tied up. “I did not tie the man to the tree but only untied him,” the Deputy Minister said.
Samurdhi officials have not taken this answer at face value and have protested this unusual action by the Deputy Minister.