“The government, instead of paying attention to the issues confronted by students and attempting to find just solutions, has as usual, unleashed suppression. Police were deployed to attack the students. Deploying police to attack agitations of university students has become a trend of the government,” states a press release issued by the Political Bureau of the JVP protesting against the police attack on the peaceful agitation carried out by medical students yesterday (28th).
The press release:
Condemn government’s attack on medical students
Several students were injured and three others had to be hospitalized due to police baton charging and attacking with tear gas and water cannon a peaceful agitation held by medical students in Fort area in Colombo yesterday (28th). We condemn the move by the government to deploy police to attack the peaceful agitation held by students of medical faculties to draw the attention of authorities for their just demands.
Students of medical faculties in 6 universities are carrying out a continuous ‘Sathyagraha’ for more than 3 months. They have commenced the ‘Sathyagraha’ on behalf of protecting free education, stop privatization of education and demanding to abolish Malabe private medical school. However, government authorities follow a policy of disregarding the issue. Yesterday (28th) was the 100th day of the continuous ‘Sathyagraha’ of the medical students and they organized an agitation in Colombo Fort to draw the attention of authorities to get a just solution for their issues. They intended going to Presidential Secretariat to present their issue. The government, instead of paying attention to the issues confronted by students and attempting to find just solutions, has as usual, unleashed suppression. Police were deployed to attack the students. Deploying police to attack agitations of university students has become a trend of the government.
The government that called its party cadres to Lipton Circus recently and held agitations and demonstrations with police protection deploying police to attack a peaceful agitation by students is ridiculous on one hand and on the other it is a tragedy. Such moves show that the present government has no other path to go other than the path trodden by Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.
However, the moves of the government, that intentionally takes steps to abolish free education, is carrying out to suppress the students movement, that struggles to protect the right of free education for future generation, should be defeated. We vehemently condemn the government for deploying police to attack the just agitation of Medical Faculty Students and demand the government to stop suppression of students, listen to their just demands and take measures to solve them.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.
“At a time when people’s unity is crucial, the bankrupt capitalist political groups in the North and the South seek refuge from communalism. Communalism of the likes of Vigneswaran nourishes communalism in the South. The communalism of communalist groups including Mahinda Rajapaksa nourishes communalism in the North. Both these are harmful to the country,” says General Secretary of the JVP Comrade Tilvin Silva.
He said this at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta yesterday (28th). The Member of the Central Committee of the JVP Comrade Luxman Nipunarachchi too was present.
Comrade Tilvin Silva addressing the media said, “Communalist politicians are again making an attempt to rouse communalism in our country. Recently, the likes of Vigneswaran brought a proposal to Northern Provincial Council stating they want a federal administration. Using this proposal defeated communalist cliques, including Mahinda Rajapaksa, have begun spreading communalism. Spreading communalism by both these groups is not a good omen for our people and the country. The attempt by the likes of Vigneswaran to divide the country must be defeated. People in the North would not receive anything from proposals brought for a separate administration. The communalism they spread would pave the way for foreign interventions in our country. Only national unity could prevent this. Hence, this attempt by communalists should be completely defeated. Also, the communal ideology spread by the defeated cliques in the South using the incidents in the North too would not bring anything good for the people or the country.
People in our country, without any difference, were oppressed due to the thirty year separatist war. A large amount of property was destroyed. The country lost many lives. This paved the path for foreign intervention. Specially, India applied a big pressure on Sri Lanka. At a time when people’s unity is crucial, the bankrupt capitalist political groups in the North and the South seek refuge from communalism. Communalism of the likes of Vigneswaran nourishes communalism in the South. The communalism of communalist groups including Mahinda Rajapaksa nourishes communalism in the North. Both these are harmful to the country.
National unity should be built in the country without paving way for communal conflicts. It could be done only by finding solutions for issues in the North as well as in the South. This government following the previous government does not care for the people in the North and the South. Their land issues, housing issue and economic issues are not solved. Hence, people in the North as well as in the South are oppressed. A small amount of gold jewellery plundered by the LTTE during the war was given back to their owners by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa during the election. We don’t know what happened to the rest. No action was taken to give lands to people who lost their lands. There are no solutions for the issues of the fisher folk. These governments have not given solutions for any issues. The present government too has failed to solve issues of the people in both the South as well as in the North. As such, surfacing communalism has become an advantage for this government as well. This government too likes surfacing of communalism so that the real issues are submerged. The likes of Vigneswaran, like certain politicians in the South, sow communalism to avoid people’s indignation.
Vigneswaran and his TNA team that came to power in the North could not give anything to the people. They failed to give solutions for economic issues and the issues tormenting fisher folk in the North. As a result the people in the North have lost faith in the TNA. Finally, fisher folk in the North had to come in search of the JVP to find solutions for their issues. The people in the North have an acute issue regarding drinking water. However, Northern Provincial Council failed to bring a proposal for a water project despite money allocated by the government was available. Several Members of the Provincial Council have been charged with financial fraud. People in the North are now ready to unite with people in the South to struggle for their rights. Vigneswaran and his group don’t like this new development. For, it is an obstacle for their political agendas. As such, the TNA and Vigneswaran bring communalism on stage again to avoid people’s opposition. A wrong dialogue is created in the society.
At present the government has also proved that it is unable to solve issues of the people. The government is burdening the people with taxes so that prices of goods go up. For the first time in history VAT has been increased to 15%. The prices of goods went up even before the VAT was implemented. Communal issues have become a boon to the government to conceal its failure to solve issues of the state employees, education and other issues. The likes of Vigneswaran directly or indirectly fulfill this need of the capitalist politicians in the South.
On the other hand the likes of Mahinda Rajapaksa who have been defeated rouse communalism in a bid to come back to power. The SLFP is divided and the two factions are holding two May rallies. Mahinda Rajapaksa faction is in a crisis as it can never come back to power. They have no ability to address common people’s issues. They never agitated to get the prices of fuel and essential goods reduced. They went round the country and dashed coconuts to get investigations against their crimes stopped; to get the FCID abolished. They are looking for short cuts to come back to power. This is why Rajapaksa and the clan attempt to spread communalism. Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim masses would never get solutions for their issues from communalism.
Hence, the people in our country should be attentive. The attempts to divide the country and the people should be stopped. The JVP would never support any proposal that would help divide the country, disunite people and rouse communalism. The attempt to instigate the South against all people in the North using proposals that are brought in by the likes of Vigneswaran should be stopped. The issue of the people in the North and the East is not ‘federal’. What they need is to fulfill their basic needs. Hence, we call upon the people in this country not to become prey to the capitalist rulers who rouse communalism from both ends but to stand for national unity.
May Day is a day that unites working masses in the whole world. On this day when all downtrodden people come together for a common struggle capitalist rulers attempt to divide people by rousing Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communalisms to get advantage for the rulers. This attempt should be defeated. Capitalist rulers who ruled the country for 68 years have not given anything to the people other than suffering. The SLFP and the UNP ruled the country separately but they have proved that they are not able to solve issues of the people. Now they have got together to form a coalition and are proving they still are not able to find solutions for people’s issues. Hence, people in our country should throw aside the economic policy of debt, tax and fines and rally to build a new economy and a new society. All groups that represent all sectors should unite without any difference of race, creed or language.
Communalism is a proof of the impotency of capitalist politicians. Political leaders who have no sense of the common issues of the masses spread communalism to divide people. This attempt should be defeated. We emphasize to the government that solutions should be found for the issues of the people in the North to defeat communalism in the North. Communalism in the South could be defeated only by defeating communalism in the South. Communalism of any kind is harmful to the country. The communalist issue is a very sensitive one. It is an issue that could rouse up people immediately. Hence, people should unite to defeat this menace.
Today is 1st May, the International Workers’ Day, the day that manifests the strength and unity of all working masses throughout the world. 1st May has been declared the International Workers’ Day to commemorate the struggle of worker heroes in Chicago who sacrificed their lives 130 years ago demanding for an 8 hour working day against the cruelty and oppression of capitalism. ‘May Day’ is the day of the working class. It is a day that reflects the international solidarity, unity, militancy and strength of the downtrodden masses led by the working class.
Today, capitalist rulers throughout the world have distorted the significance of the International Workers’ Day to use it for their petty political objectives. Capitalist rulers, who shot dead workers in Chicago in the USA who agitated for an 8 hour working day, themselves, are plundering the ownership of the International Workers’ Day. Hence, there is also a struggle before the working masses to save the ownership of the International Workers’ Day from its enemy.
This is a period capitalism; the capitalist socio-economic system displays its failure and ferociousness throughout the world. Despite the struggle for an 8 hour working day by comrades in Chicago was won with sacrifice of lives, capitalist rulers are carrying on a conspiracy at present to deny the 8 hour working day for workers. Practice has already proved that rights of working masses cannot be protected and even the rights that have been already won are being abolished within capitalism. Hence the oppressed masses have no other alternative other than organizing themselves to defeat capitalism globally to establish a new society and an administration of the working masses.
At a time when International Workers’ Day is commemorated this year the global as well as Sri Lanka’s capitalist system is in an insolvable crisis. Even developed countries have still not been able to get themselves free from the economic depression that started in the USA in 2008. Currently, countries like Greece are submerged up to the neck in debt and are slashing rights of their people. This is the situation in many countries in Europe. The crisis of capitalism has drastically burdened the working masses. Burdening the working masses with taxes, redundancy, slashing of salaries and rights continue to plague working masses.
Capitalism and Imperialism that is confronted with the deepest economic crisis in its history and is fast approaching its demise has deprived billions of working masses not only their right for an eight hour working day but also their fundamental rights for food, housing, health, education and employment. On the other hand it has created a ceaseless series of wars to plunder oil and other resources. Imperialism that has given life to various religious and communal terrorist cliques is shedding blood, murdering people and destroying property mercilessly for the existence of its system. Capitalism is taking the world again towards barbarism.
In such an environment, it is the responsibility of the downtrodden people lead by the working masses to rise against barbarism and achieve social progress. The working masses in the world have no other alternative other than give vigour for the struggle to defeat imperialism and capitalism to achieve Socialism. It should be the objective of the working masses all over the world.
Currently, the situation in Sri Lanka too has become very critical. The massiveness of the crisis is evident from the lament the Prime Minister made in Parliament stating Sri Lanka is confronted with a massive economic crisis. Sri Lanka has been brought to the edge of destruction by the cliques that ruled it for the past 68 years. They have buried Sri Lanka under a debt mountain. The per capita debt in Sri Lanka has risen to nearly Rs.500,000. Production has been neglected. The ruling classes throughout the world as well as in Sri Lanka consider that the only solution for this crisis is heaping the masses with the burden. This is the essence of the statement made by the Prime Minister that everyone will have to get ready to take in ‘bitter medicine’. Already, the government has prepared plans to deny people their rights, do away with fertilizer subsidy, slash employment opportunities and to do away with pension rights. With the economic crisis the crisis in the ruling class too has intensified. The mess and internal clashes of Maithri – Ranil coalition and the division in the SLFP have brought the crisis of the ruling class to the surface. What does the socio-economic-political and cultural crisis that has surfaced in Sri Lanka clamour for? It is none other than the fact that the existing feeble capitalist system should be toppled as capitalism in Sri Lanka can never create anything new for the people in the country. This emphasizes again and again the need of a new social transformation in place of the bankrupt capitalism. Political parties such as the UNP, the SLFP or other small cliques can never create a new society to find genuine solutions for the present crisis or bring economic development and progress to the country. For this the working masses lead by the working class and downtrodden masses should take the lead. It needs a political leadership and at this moment it is the JVP that has an alternative programme and could give such a leadership to the masses.
As such, a massive people’ power, people’s movement should be built with the working masses under the leadership of the JVP for a broad social transformation. The people’s movement that is already being built should be strengthened and all must commit for the task with determination and resolve. The rights of the downtrodden people including that of the working masses could be won and protected and they could achieve their emancipation only by strengthening and bringing victory to such a people’s movement. The rights of the downtrodden people lead by the working class and all progressive people’s forces could be won and a better tomorrow could be created for the people only by such a people’s power; only by bringing victory to such a people’s power.
As such, on this May Day, we appeal to working masses, farmers, fisher folk, women, youths, students, professionals, intellectuals, environmentalists, media personnel, artistes, humanitarians, democrats and all progressives to rally with the JVP to struggle to defeat the present administration and the existing social system that has bequeathed death instead of life, diseases, famines and frustration, sorrow and pain and achieve a modern socialist society that affirms genuine economic development, equality, social justice, democracy and national unity.
Down with imperialism – liberation for the people!
Down with capitalism – Victory for Socialism!
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
“It was announced that Bonds worth Rs 40, 000 would be issued but Treasury Bonds worth Rs 80, 000 million have been issued. 80,000 instead of 40,000 is to renew the usual fraud. It is the company owned by Central Bank Governor’s son-in-law that exchanged bonds issued by the Central Bank last year. The Governor remaining in the post itself is a misdeed. However, the Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister and the President are mum regarding this. The biggest harm due to such misdeed is for the working masses, says the Convener of Voice against Corruption (VAC) and JVP Member of the North Central Provincial Council Comrade Wasantha Samarasinghe. He said this at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta yesterday (24th).
Speaking further Comrade Wasantha Samarasinghe said, “Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s pal who was appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank immediately after the government came to power was accused of a massive fraud when issuing bonds. Announcements were to issue bonds to the value of Rs.1000 million but bonds valued at Rs.10,000 million was bought through son-in-law’s company. Even the President made a request to remove the Governor after this incident. However, Ranil Wickremesinghe and his party did not carry out the request. Another such a massive deal was carried out by the Governor of the Central Bank recently. Bonds were issued weekly paying money for bonds that had expired. At the end of February too an auction that runs on parallel lines of the controversial auction I mentioned earlier took place. It was announced that Bonds worth Rs 40, 000 would be issued but Treasury Bonds worth Rs 80, 000 million have been issued. 80,000 instead of 40,000 is to renew the usual fraud. It is the company owned by Central Bank Governor’s son-in-law that exchanged bonds issued by the Central Bank last year. The Governor remaining in the post itself is a misdeed. However, the Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister and the President are mum regarding this. The biggest harm due to such misdeed is for the working masses. Rs.1,300 billion from EPF is mainly invested in treasury bills and government bonds. If EPF directly does the trading it could get a profit of Rs.80 million. EPF doesn’t get this large amount of money due to trading with primary dealers. When compared with the massive sum of Rs.1300 billion this is a small amount but for the working masses of the country this is a large amount and a massive plunder of people’s money. We have taken this matter before the Supreme Court. The Treasury and the Governor of the Central Bank are engaged in this fraud very skilfully. We informed the previous government to stop plundering the EPF. We will complaint to the Bribery Commission and the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat regarding the bond scam carried out by the Central Bank.
The government through the Governor of the Central Bank and his son-in-law is knowingly and blatantly plundering money from the EPF. The Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister are aware of this. We would intervene to stop this fraud. Also, we ask the working masses to rally to demand investigating the fraud and to come forward to stop such acts. We emphasize that a struggle should be carried out by the working masses not only to protect their rights and win others but also to stop plundering their resources.”
“Working masses should first select a red flag to commemorate the International Workers’ Day. The working masses then should select a red flag that struggles on behalf of them. The international symbol of the working masses is neither the elephant nor the hand but the hammer and sickle. It is necessary to commemorate the May Day with those who struggle to protect and win rights of the working masses but not with those who want to make the May Day a display of their strength,” says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP Comrade Lal Kantha. He made these observations at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today.
Comrade Lal Kantha said, “The government by increasing the tax burden has asked the working masses to reduce their consumption of goods and services. The theme the government has prepared for the May Day is a “May Day that displays the quality of sacrifice of the working masses.” The slogan that was in the May Day of the working masses was related to winning rights. The UNP, in its history, always held a May Day that prepares to slash rights. The working masses should know what sacrifices the government has made. They have the biggest cabinet of ministers in the world. If they want to have a coalition of parties they could always reduce the number of ministers to form the government. However, they do not make any sacrifice but want to hold a May Day to teach sacrifice to working masses.
At the last budget it was proposed to slash the pension right enjoyed by the working masses from this year. As such, the state employees now have a struggle to win their pension rights. A bill that has slashed the Rs.2500 promised to private sector employees has been presented. Hence, the private sector employees too have a struggle to win a fair salary for the amount they work. Amendments to laws that would slash rights of the working masses are to be brought in. The dialogue during the last elections was an aim to win pension rights for the private sector as well. However, the state employees also find that their pension rights have been slashed. A struggle to protect as well as win rights is before the working masses. The biggest injustice has been meted out for the estate community. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Labour have got together to put off signing the collective agreement by 4 months. It is a serious violation of rights. They have a struggle to make their daily wage Rs.1000. The collective agreement is not signed because if they do so they will have to give the daily wage the estate sector employees demand for. As such, the state sector, the private sector as well as the estate sector have a struggle against slashing the rights they have already won and another struggle to win other rights when this May Day is commemorated.
However, what is being discussed today is whether the working masses go to Kirulapane or to Galle. This is a tragedy. Issues of working masses are not discussed. Hence, we emphasize that a May demonstration and a rally that protests against slashing of a large number of rights of the working masses and struggle strongly to win more rights is necessary. We cannot allow this need of the working masses to be condensed to going to Kirulapane or Galle. There is a need to hold a massive May rally to defeat the tax policy that is to be implemented from 2nd May. If we fail to hold such a massive rally the working masses will have to sacrifice from the 2nd May a large portion of goods and services they have been consuming in this country in which the rulers do not know anything about sacrifice. Whether going to Kirulapane or Galle is not relevant to the working masses in this country. The government has also aimed a massive blow to media personnel, a section of the working masses. The Prime Minister and the President have begun to get heads as well as chief editors of media institutions to their official residences and threaten them. The freedom to use the pen and the camera freely is being obstructed. Despite calling their government ‘yahapalanaya’ people of all sectors are being attacked.
The bag of fertilizer that was Rs.1200 in the open market was increased to Rs.3500 by the government. As a result of massive farmer agitations it was brought down to Rs.2400. However, the price of a fertilizer in the open market has been doubled. Crops produced using fertilizer at this price has not come to the market yet. This government has thrown a massive challenge to working masses of all sectors. As such, what has been created for the working masses at present is to build a massive force that would be able to overcome all challenges confronted by them. This massive force cannot be built by going to Kirulapane, Galle or Campbell Park. Having colours of the political parties in their meetings is tolerable. However, working masses cannot commemorate the International Workers’ Day standing under green flags or blue flags. Getting to commemorate the International Workers’ Day under green or blue flags is misleading. When we make the working masses aware to carry out a struggle to protect and win their rights, the rulers mislead the working masses to carry out a programme of plunder. We ask the working masses to first select a red flag to commemorate the International Workers’ Day. The working masses then should select a red flag that struggles on behalf of them. The international symbol of the working masses is neither the elephant nor the hand but the hammer and sickle. It is necessary to commemorate the May Day with those who struggle to protect and win rights of the working masses but not with those who want to make the May Day a display of their strength.
Hence, we invite the working masses to participate in the May demonstration and the rally that struggle to protect and win rights of the working masses and strive for a new economy and a new society. It is the demonstration and the rally of the JVP. The two political parties that claim they are the main parties pollute the demonstration and the rally. They distort the May Day with drunkard quarrels and various ‘choka’ baila scenes. Both these parties have lost the value of the day even before the May Day. They have made May Day an occasion to display the power struggle in their parties. We appeal to the working masses not to rally with leaders who have distorted the May Day. We also ask the working masses to make the May Day a day to decide a series of struggles from the 2nd onwards that will lead to a general strike. We ask the working masses to make May Day a day to gather strength and determination to get the increased taxes reduced and win our rights.”
“The farmer, fisherman, the self employed and all others are being oppressed with a massive tax burden. The tax burden would fall on people’s heads the day after they commemorate the International Workers day on 1st May,” says the Information Secretary of the JVP Comrade Vijitha Herath addressing a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (24th). He said the JVP condemns oppressing the masses while the government carries out wasteful spending unabated and added that the people in the country were not prepared to tolerate such a massive injustice.
Comrade Vijitha Herath said, “The present coalition government is attempting to burden the people with a new round of taxes to maintain wasteful spending for their high level living. We are holding this press conference to brief the media regarding this act of the government, to reveal the latest bond fraud of the Central Bank and to apprise regarding our May Day demonstration and the rally.
With the dawn of New Year the VAT is increased.
Despite the government proposing in the budget to levy the VAT in several ratios, the Prime Minister said in Parliament that 15% VAT would be levied for all goods and services. The gazette notification regarding this has not been published yet. However, the Ministry of Finance informed the Department of Inland Revenue on 11th April in writing that the VAT that was at 11% should be increased to 15%. Also, VAT has been levied for several goods and services for which VAT had been exempted earlier.
The letter sent by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance R.H.S. Samarasinghe to the Commissioner of the Department of Inland Revenue clearly states every business which has a turnover of more than Rs.3 million in a quarter would come under VAT. Among the services for which VAT was not levied until now were telecommunication service and all telecommunication equipment. Nation Building Tax has been added to electricity. New taxes are levied for education and health services. For example from a telephone bill earlier the Cess tax was 2% and telecommunication tax was 25%. The total tax was 27%. However, with the new taxation 2% of Nation Building Tax and 15% VAT would be added. The total amount of tax paid would be 44%. The tax for Rs.100 re-load would be Rs.44. Also, 2% more would be added to international calls. When spending Rs.100 for a call the real charge for the call is Rs.56. The balance Rs.44 is the tax burden forced on the people.
This is how the government has burdened the people with tax. When presenting the budget the government said the direct tax that was 20% would be increased to 40% and indirect tax that was 80% would be brought down to 60%. However, what has happened today is that the direct tax levied from those who receive the highest income has come down and due to introducing VAT and other taxes to goods and services the ratio of indirect tax has been increased to 90%.
The government carried out an entirely different thing to what they had promised. The farmer, fisherman, the self employed and all others are being oppressed with a massive tax burden. The tax burden would fall on people’s heads the day after they commemorate the International Workers day on 1st May. The Minister of Health says the taxes levied from private hospitals and private educational institutes would be spent for the development of the two sectors. This is indeed a falsehood to deceive the people. This would not be approved by the working masses of this country. Also, the JVP demands the government to immediately withdraw the tax that was increased. A building is rented out for the Ministry of Agriculture paying a monthly rent of Rs.20100000 while the Telecom Chairman is paid a monthly rent allowance of Rs. 750000. We condemn oppressing the masses while the government carries out wasteful spending unabated. The people in this country are not prepared to tolerate such a massive injustice.
Until now VAT was not levied on wholesale and retail trade. However, VAT is levied now for retail trade that has a turnout of Rs.300,000 for a quarter. This means VAT has to be paid if the daily income of a retail shop is above Rs.33,333.00. VAT means Value Added Tax. This tax is levied against the principles of taxation. Value cannot be added when a good is bought and sold. A retail shop merely sells goods. Value added means what is added to a thing that is newly produced. Hence, levying tax on wholesale and retail trade is against the principles of taxation. This is a very serious situation.”
When people oppose the decisions taken collectively by the government the President and the Prime Minister blame each other to indicate they are free from the guilt says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP Comrade Lal Kantaha.
Responding to a question posed by a journalist regarding the increases in VAT Comrade Lal Kantha said, “The President on many occasions has said he becomes aware of many things only from newspapers. He has learnt about the increase in VAT too from newspapers. The people should understand that not only the President fails to fulfil the responsibility as the leader of the state but also that the UNP, including Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, doesn’t get him involved in taking decisions for the country. The leader of the cabinet is the President. The Prime Minister and the UNP coalition are included in it. People are made to understand that decisions are not taken in the cabinet but secretly taken in the kitchen cabinet in Temple Trees or in a corner in Mr. Ravi Karunanayaka’s Finance Ministry. This is not so. They take decisions collectively. When people oppose such decisions they blame each other or take the responsibility individually to avoid people’s indignation. Avoiding responsibility in such a manner is indeed a fraudulent act.
Do you remember the proposal to increase salaries of Parliamentarians? When people’s opposition rose up against it the President said he was not aware of it but knew about it only from newspapers. The President is performing an act of his own. The people should know that both these groups collectively burden the people to obscure their impotency. This yahapalana government is the government that has become unpopular in the shortest period of time. The SLFP Members who have entered Parliament through votes of members of the SLFP and have wriggled into the cabinet to conceal their frauds and corruption and say ‘yes’ to all what Ranil Wickremesinghe says, lie to their party members.”
Maithri – Ranil government is not second to Rajapaksa regime in making the country indebted and burdening the people with taxes and the debt the country has to pay. Hence it is time that the old economic model is swept aside and bring in a new economic model says the Information Secretary of the JVP Comrade Vijitha Herath.
The partners of yahapalana government who boasted that they were economic experts increased the VAT to 15% and threw the people from the pan to the hearth, the people had to borrow from everywhere to fulfil New Year traditions said Comrade Vijitha Herath adding that the 15% VAT was the New Year present people received from the government.
Speaking to a daily newspaper Comrade Vijitha Herath said, “The government did not give any relief to the people for the New Year. The people had to exercise utter frugality in celebrating their New Year. They had to borrow from everywhere to fulfil New Year traditions. To such people the government gave a present of 15% VAT. The tax for profits of the share market was increased by 0.3%. Many who receive a pension invested their money in the share market to make their ends meet. They too have been affected due to the new tax.
Increasing the VAT to 15% would affect both goods and services. This would have a dire influence on the economy. VAT increase would affect the health sector as well. People will have to pay more for their medicines. This would be the pattern for everything. This is indeed a shot under the belt.
The government is attempting to get a loan of Rs.1.5 billion from the IMF. The Minister of Finance is abroad for this purpose. The loans taken before have not been settled. Despite this situation, more and more attempts are made to borrow. The country will be trapped in another debt trap. On one side is the burden of debt for the people and on the other is the burden of increased tax. People have been dragged from the pan to the hearth,” said the Information Secretary of the JVP.
‘Challenges facing the country’, a seminar was held in Milan in Italy yesterday (17th) participated by a large gathering of Sri Lankan living or employed in that country.
The General Secretary of the JVP Comrade Tilvin Silva delivered the keynote address.