JVP agitates at Parliament Roundabout against VAT

The JVP held an agitation at Parliament Roundabout against government’s decision to impose Value Added Tax (VAT) that burdens masses. The Leaders of the JVP and a large crowd participated.

The General Secretary Comrade Tilvin Silva, the National Organizer Comrade Bimal Rathnayaka and Member of the Political Bureau Comrade Lal Kantha addressed the people.

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Second budget of ‘yahapalana’ regime too is an empty shell – Comrade Bimal Rathnayaka

The appropriation bill presented by the ‘yahapalana’ government for 2017 is nothing but an empty shell says the National Organizer of the JVP Comrade Bimal Rathnayaka. He said this addressing a media conference held at the head office of the JVP today (23rd) to draw the attention of the people to the response of the JVP to the Appropriation Bill for 2017 presented to Parliament on the 20th.  Member of the Central Committee Comrade Lakshman Nipunarachchi was also present.

Comrade Bimal Rathnayaka said, “The budget presented for 2016 was based on several fundamental items related to the economy. It was based on 5 economic prospects. They are one million jobs, raising the economy of the people, developing rural economy, creating a broad middle class and giving ownership to lands presently occupied by rural and estate communities. As a tax policy it was stated that indirect taxes levied from the masses would be reduced to 40% and direct taxes would be increased to 60%. The promise was to levy higher taxes from the affluent and to tax less from the low income earners.

There have been years recently when a complete budget was not presented. An example is 2010. In a post war environment Rajapaksa regime allocated monies using an interim budget. However, a budget was presented in 2016 but such a budget was never presented in the history of this country. The presented budget was officially amended thrice. However, nothing was implemented relevant to the budget. The statistics regarding the one million jobs cannot be found anywhere. The Chief Accountants in Ministries are not aware of economic matters of this year. Definite statistics regarding job generation could be obtained from the new members who join the EPF. It is proved that 100,000 jobs have not been given this year.  Raising the economy of the people, developing rural economy, creating a broad middle class and giving ownership to lands and other aspirations of the masses have not been fulfilled. Giving lands to the estate community has been limited to presenting of 300 deeds only.

It is stated that the economic growth in the first 6 months of this year is 3.9%. What is notable is the economic growth during the second quarter has come down to 2.6%. When the government came to power it was said that the economic growth would be raised to 6% through a broad economic plan. However, the lowest economic growth for the recent history was observed in the second quarter decreasing the economic growth of the service sector to 4.9%. The economic growth of all sectors has come down. Also, the prices of essential consumer goods are going up rapidly. Raw rice that was at Rs. 68 a kilo has increased to Rs.75. When this government came to power it criticized debt taking of Rajapaksa regime. However, during the first 6 months of this government the debt burden has become heavier. During the first 6 months the government has taken loans to the tune of Rs. 559,000 million. This ‘yahapalana’ government that criticized Rajapaksa regime has taken Rs.127,000 million internationally and Rs.432,000 million locally. The promises of job generation, economic growth and reducing COL given to the masses have not been fulfilled.

The biggest lie in the previous budget in 2016 was about taxes. The Minister of Finance said the taxes heaped on the general public by Rajapaksa regime would be brought down from 80% to 40% and the direct taxes would be increased from 20% to 60% to levy higher taxes from higher income earners. What has happened today is that the indirect taxes heaped on the ordinary people have been increased from 80% to 85% and the direct tax levied for the rich has been brought down from 20% to 15%. This situation is due to the reduction by the Rajapaksa regime the direct tax enacted in 2013 from profits of companies from 35% to 28%.  This was reduced to 17% from the last budget. As such, this government reduced the tax for the rich by 11% and increased the tax levied from the people.

Let’s have some idea regarding the Appropriation Bill related to the budget 2017 against this background. Despite explaining according to the Appropriation Bill, we all know there would be changes from time to time.  Throughout the past monies allocated from the Appropriation Bill were changed during the year. It is merely a list of numbers presented in Parliament and not anything to do with the real budget. Even under such circumstances we have a basic explanation. Compared to last year the allocation for the President has been increased by Rs. 3060 million. Last year allocation for the President was Rs. 2391 million. This year it has been increased to Rs. 5451 million. It’s roughly an increase of 350%. Last year the Prime Minister’s allocation was Rs.486 million. This year it has been increased to Rs. 1254 million. The allocation for the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs that come under the Prime Minister has been increased by Rs. 350 million.

The biggest reduction in the appropriation document has been for sectors related to local economy. This reduction is in a situation where a large amount of money has been allocated for defence despite the country is not involved in a war. Despite allocation for defense has been reduced by Rs. 18,000 million, the largest amount – Rs. 284,000 million has been allocated for defense while monies needed for essential sectors that affect people have been slashed. The allocation for the Ministry of Health for this year is Rs. 174,000 million. This has been brought down to Rs. 160,000 million slashing Rs.13,106 million. It is a reduction of nearly 10%.

The allocation for the Ministry of Education is significant. Last year the Minister of Finance carrying out a numbers game added the value of the school buildings constructed from Kannangara era as expenditure for this year. Due to the opposition the move received, Rs.121 billion was reduced and amended it as Rs.46 billion for this year. This year only Rs.76 billion has been allocated. If another Rs.75 billion is not added from the budget the allocation for Education would be a massive reduction.

This government has a mandate for allocating money for education. It was stated they would move towards allocating 6% of the GDP for education. Despite the government making statements that 6% would be allocated, in the budget it has been reduced to 2.6% of GDP. Also, despite Rs. 163 billion has been allocated for the Ministry of Highways and Higher Education, once the money spent for highways is deducted the money left for higher education would be a small amount. The allocation for the UGC, which is directly connected to universities, has been reduced from Rs. 44,923 million to Rs.38,854 million. The allocation for the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs for this year was Rs. 9765 million. This has been reduced to Rs.2694 million for 2017. The reduction is about Rs.7,000 million. We suspect that the allowance given to pregnant mothers and for welfare could be the amount that has been slashed.  Despite those who are employed abroad are called heroes, the allocation for the ministry has been reduced from Rs. 1036 to Rs. 694 million.

A large amount has been slashed in connection with rural agricultural economy. The slashing of allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture is very serious. The highest employment is in the agriculture sector. The reduction in allocation for the Ministry of Agricore for 2017 is Rs. 32,807 million. The allocation for this year was Rs. 54,200 million. It has been reduced to Rs. 21,393 million.  The livelihood of more than 10 million is connected with the Ministry of Agriculture.  As such, this reduction would have serious consequences. Also, allocations for fisheries, small industries, environment etc. have been slashed. Despite there are various environmental issues such as man – elephant conflict, Rs. 11,662 million has been slashed from the Ministry of Environment that is under the President.

The allocations for ministries that affect the people have been slashed changing the name of the ‘open economy’ to ‘Social Market Economy.’ In plain language the government implements its political agenda by pressurizing the masses with severe economic burden. The situation is serious as the government is ignoring the mandate it received when it came to power. This is revealed in the Appropriation Bill presented.  How the government that came to power promising to do away with frauds and corruption and raising the economy destroyed by Rajapaksa regime is acting is clear to the people. The statement made by the President with the intension of protecting fraudsters and the corrupt has terminated the discussion to stop frauds and corruption. Sleeping with thieves has become the sole political agenda of the Ranil – Maithri administration. President’s outburst has activated the first innings and playing the second innings by moving within COPE to protect fraudsters exposes the political agenda of the ‘yahapalana’ government. The Appropriation Bill reveals that the government has no vision or plan to develop the economy of the country. We call upon the masses in this country and the media to reveal that the government has failed to fulfill the mandate it received. As the JVP, we emphasize that there is no other alternative other than changing this administration and taking the country on the path of a new political and economic transformation. We have already commenced rallying people for such a noble task. We invite all to rally around this force.”
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‘JO’ clique attempts to hide its frauds & corruption behind President’s statement

 

“Independent Commissions have been appointed according to the 19th amendment to the Constitution. It too has received a mandate. Hence, we ask officials to carry out their investigations without any fear. The officials need not consider whether the thief is within the government or outside it. You have to carry out your investigations.

The JVP will be with you and the masses to take action against frauds and corruption. Do not be scared of statements and set back investigations. The ‘joint opposition’ clique attempts to undermine thefts and frauds. The UNP and the SLFP should be responsible for the political interferences.

The President and the Prime Minister from the UNP should reveal to the country that politically interfere in investigations. The officers who conduct investigations risk their lives. They have to confront threats from thieves and fraudsters. They conduct investigations despite their lives have been threatened. No one should make statements to discourage their self confidence,” says the Information Secretary of the JVP Comrade Vijitha Herath.

This was said at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta yesterday (16th). The Member of the Central Committee of the JVP Parliamentarian Comrade Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa too was present.

Comrade Vijitha Herath said, “The Rajapaksa regime misappropriated public money and public assets on a large scale. People’s money was used for the personal use of Rajapaksa family. This is being revealed in investigations. The house and land at Malwana, incidents involving CSN channel reveal Rajapaksas’ plunder of public money.  Another flagrant fraud that was committed during Rajapaksa regime was Avant Garde incident. We, as the JVP, continuously questioned regarding this. We demanded the government to carry out investigations against it. Several ministers of the present government defended Avant Garde. The opposition for this was so much that the Minister of Law and Order of the government had to resign. Avant Garde is such a flagrant fraud. Investigations against it should be carried out. It is compulsory.

Frauds and corruption were a main factor for toppling the previous government. People expected that investigations would be carried out against frauds and corruption.  The main factor for the mandate received by this government was opposition to frauds and corruption. The responsibility of fulfilling this expectation of the people is with the President, the Prime Minister, the cabinet of ministers and the government. However, the institutions established for investigations and the independent commissions have not been formed in the manner people expected. Investigations were carried out at a snail’s pace. As such, mass protests surfaced from time to time. We, as the JVP took to the streets. We continue to demand that legal action against fraudsters and criminals should be expedited. Investigations in connection with frauds and corruption being committed by the present government are not carried out.  After this government came to power the notorious Central Bank scam was committed on 27th February, 2015. This is the biggest financial irregularity that has been committed after this government came to power. According to profit report of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., the company involved in the scam has got a profit of Rs. 5.200 million for the year 2015. This profit was obtained after it committed the Central Bank bond scam. Serious allegations have been aimed at the company owned by the son-in-law of the former Governor of Central Bank. Despite initial investigations have been completed; no legal action has been taken. There are no inquiries despite people’s money has been blatantly plundered. People have a justifiable suspicion regarding the affair.

Investigations regarding Avant Garde affair has not been completed yet. The Avant Garde fraud continues just like it did during Rajapaksa regime. In 2015 Avant Garde had to pay Rakna Lanka Rs. 843 million. However, the present government decided to write off Rs. 255 million due to Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited from Avant Garde. This is an amount the government should get. How could they write off such a sum of money? This shows frauds and corruption continue under this government as well. There were security officers involved in Avant Garde incident. Former Navy Commanders and soldiers were employees of Avant Garde Company. Law should be implemented against them as well. The Law in our country should be equal to all. Today, those accused of financial frauds of Avant Garde Ltd. are using officers of security forces as a shield to save themselves from accusations against them. The ‘joint opposition’ clique to save themselves from being prosecuted shouts that soldiers are being arrested.

The President should have taken action against the attempt of Rajapaksa clique to use security personnel as a shield to conceal their thefts. However, what the President did was the opposition of what was expected from him. Also, ministers of the present government too have been accused of various frauds and corruption. People have a just suspicion as no action is being taken against these perpetrators. There are two political parties in this alliance government. Both parties are trying to protect fraudsters. The UNP attempts to protect its associate who is involved in the bond scam. Also, the SLFP attempts to protect corrupt ministers of the previous regime who are in the cabinet of this government.  There are allegations against the Minister of Fisheries who leased out Modara Fishing Harbour for a monthly lease of Rs. 125,000 when it was possible to lease it out for Rs.1.7 million a month. However, there are no investigations against him. There are no investigations against ministers who have imported vehicles illegally. There is no investigation against the coal tender that caused the conscience of judges to quiver. These frauds have been proved. Frauds and corruption are committed in this government as well.

What should be done is to take legal action against frauds and corruption that had been committed during Rajapaksa regime as well as frauds and corruption of the present government. The law should be meted out equally to all. Now meting out law has become hilarious at times. When the case was heard regarding the land and the mansion at Malwana, Muditha Jayakody and Basil Rajapaksa say they are not the owners and they are free from punishment. The contractor who built the mansion clearly says Basil Rajapaksa paid him for the construction. However, law is not implemented against the thieves.  In the CSN affair when it was said there was no owner for the money it was confiscated. It is like when a plantain thief is caught by the police and taken before Court he says he is not a thief but someone hanged the bunch of plantains on his shoulder. Then the Court releases the thief and orders the bunch of plantains to be auctioned.

The incidents that were committed during Rajapaksa regime were very serious. They should be investigated without any hesitation. Also, the bond scam, coal fraud and other frauds that were committed during this alliance government too should be investigated. Who is responsible if those in the government themselves come out with wrong interpretations regarding on going investigations? The CID, FCID and the Bribery Commission are under the government. The government cannot shy away from the responsibility of investigations. The President and the Prime Minister must take the responsibility as the leaders of the government. The independent Commissions should be genuinely independent institutions. There is no need to inform their affairs to the President or the Prime Minister. If the President says they act according to a political agenda he should reveal to the country whose political agenda they are following. We would like to know whether investigations against government ministers are not carried out due to such political agendas. It is the government that is responsible for any political agendas followed by these institutions.

Statements that discourage officers involved in investigations should not be made. We would like to tell officials of Commissions and officers of police divisions not to be scared but continue with their investigations. They have an authority given to them by the mandate. Independent commissions are responsible for the people. Independent Commissions have been appointed according to the 19th amendment of the Constitution. It too has a mandate. Hence, we ask officials to carry out their investigations without any fear. The officials need not consider whether the thief is within the government or outside it. You have to carry out your investigations.

The JVP will be with you and the masses to take action against frauds and corruption. Do not be scared of statements and set back investigations. The ‘joint opposition’ clique attempts to undermine thefts and frauds. The UNP and the SLFP should be responsible for the political interferences.

The President and the Prime Minister from the UNP should reveal to the country that politically interfere in investigations. The officers who conduct investigations risk their lives. They have to confront threats from thieves and fraudsters. They conduct investigations despite their lives have been threatened. No one should make statements to discourage their self confidence.

The stand of the JVP is that a special court should be established to hear cases that come under money laundering act. For, when cases that come under the money laundering act are heard in normal courts other legal matters get obstructed. We would like to draw the attention of the Chief Justice and the Minister of Justice to establish a separate Court to expedite cases in connection with financial frauds. This government gave such a promise when it came to power. The President making such a statement without fulfilling such promises is regrettable. This has slackened the country. The President, as the head of the country and the government, has a responsibility to make institutions that carry out investigations against frauds and corruption responsible institutions. We, as the JVP call upon the masses of this country to rally to get legal action against fraudsters and the corrupt and to struggle to win justice and equity.”

Stop issuing statements to weaken legal actions & moves against crimes

“The statement by the President questioning whether the Criminal Investigation Department, Financial Crimes Investigation Division and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption act according to a political agenda should not be taken lightly and if those institutions are manipulated according to someone’s political agenda the President should reveal it to the country. The whole country knows that despite several ministers who have joined the government have various allegations of frauds against them; no investigations are being carried out against them. It should be made known whether these investigation too do not take place due to political agendas states” the media release issued by the JVP regarding a statemet made by the President.

Full text of the media release:

“Stop issuing statements weakening legal actions & moves against crimes!”

A statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena at Foundation Institute yesterday (12th) has been published in all newspapers today (13th) as a lead. We consider the statement indicating suspicion that the CID, FCID and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption act according to a political agenda as a serious one.  It seems that the President, in his speech, has challenged the aspirations and the mandate of the 6.2 million people who voted for Mr. Maithripala Sirisena on 8th January, 2015 to bring good governance and democracy against frauds and corruption committed during Rajapaksa regime.

If the defeated Rajapaksa clique attempts to create a viewpoint among security sections against the government by wrongly interpreting moves being carried out by institutions that investigate frauds, corruption and crimes committed during the past, what the government needs to do is to defeat such attempts but not act to weaken or dishearten the institutions that carry out such investigations.

The statement by the President questioning whether the Criminal Investigation Department, Financial Crimes Investigation Division and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption do act according to a political agenda should not be taken lightly. For, he is the head of the government as well as the state. If these institutions are manipulated according to someone’s political agenda the President should reveal it to the country. The whole country knows that despite several ministers who have joined the government have various allegations of frauds against them; no investigations are being carried out against them. It should be made known whether these investigation too do not take place due to political agendas.

The President has also mentioned independent commissions. Independent commissions were appointed according to the 19th amendment also with the mediation of the present government. It is a demand of people’s civil organizations and was a main promise given to the people by the government. Even with certain shortcomings manipulating the institutions by a commission is better for democracy than when they are manipulated by an individual. Hence, belittling independent commissions, claiming those who are involved in them do not know to govern, cannot be accepted. Making statements or taking moves to weaken institutions that carry out genuine investigations in connection with frauds, corruption and crimes and thereby weaken such investigations is counter to the mandate. Also, it brings pleasure to those who committed large scale financial frauds and corruption during the previous regime and a boost to their false accusations against institutions that carry out investigations against them; a move to incapacitate them. Now, certain individuals in the present government too are being accused of bribe taking, frauds and abuse of power. Frightening and weakening institutions that carry out investigations into such frauds, corruption and crime would encourage those who are already engaged in such vice and those who anticipate committing such crime.

Hence, we demand the government to stop taking steps to weaken investigations and legal moves that are being carried out against those who defrauded public funds, were involved in financial frauds and other crimes, also hasten investigations that have not yet begun against those who are involved in financial frauds and crimes and to honour mandate of the people.

Political Bureau

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna

13.10.2016

 

Youth of our country should be armed with ideals of Che

 

A press conference was held by the Socialist Youth Union (SYU) at the head office of the JVP yesterday (7th) to apprise the media in connection with the ‘Che Day’ celebrations to be held this year.
The National Organizer of SYU Comrade Eranga Gunasekera and Members of the National Committee of the SYU Comrade Anjana Sampath and Comrade Nipuna Sarangi participated.
Comrade Eranga Gunasekera addressing the media said, “We all know that Comrade Ernesto Ghe Guevara was killed 49 years ago. He could live only a short period of 39 years. It means that the period after his death is longer than the years he lived. We see Comrade Che’s photograph in three wheelers in every park from North to South. Comrade Che’s figure could be seen in t-shirts, bracelets, tattoos worn by youths in this country. Hence, Comrade Che has become not only a fashion but a symbol of the youth in every part of the globe. A good example to prove this is ‘Time’ magazine. A compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people published in Time magazine in 1999 indicates that Comrade Che is one of them. Normally a person can influence others only when he is living. Even such a person’s influence gradually dies down once he is dead. Even in our country people just forget leaders who have made an impact on the society when they die. However, sometimes people are reminded of them when their offspring who come to power later build museums in their names. For, they had not lived in the hearts of the people. However, the situation with Comrade Che is entirely different. He is getting closer to the hearts of the people since his death. This is why he has become the eternal symbol of youth throughout the world. This is why, we, as the Socialist Youth Union, talk about Comrade Che. We want to bring the message of Che’s real conscience, the knowledge about his intentions, his vision and values to the youths who love him. This is why we, as the SYU, carry out this special endeavour since 2008.
Che is a person who fought on behalf of the people and against issues that confront masses. Also, you know the massiveness of the crisis confronted by the youth in our country at present. Youths in our country have many dreams. They aspire for a good education, a good job, to buy a vehicle and a house, to live happily with the person he or she loves and support their parents and loved ones. However, how many youths could make this dream real? None of the green and blue governments has been able to find solutions for the issues of the youths for the last 68 years. About 250,000 sit the A/L examination every year. About 150,000 pass the examination. However, only about 25,000 could enter universities. All other 125,000 have been made destitute in education. The authorities are also placing obstacles for the external degree that was open for a few of them.
The only hope to get a degree for those who failed to get admission to universities has been shattered. Kelaniya University has been sent a circular asking that only the same number admitted as internal students could be registered for external degrees. Now, this has become a major issue. Already about 14,000 applications have been received. However, according to the latest developments, only about 2160 could be registered as external students. This is really a slashing of opportunities. When this was questioned in Parliament the Minister, who had said there were no auspicious times to construct roads, comes out with blatant lies. He couldn’t even present statistics correctly. As such, the SYU will form a struggle centre against this villainous move of the authorities and carry out a massive protest campaign with the participation of students, teachers and progressive masses.
This ‘yahapalana’ government is one that had promised to create one million jobs. Arjun Mahendran, accused of controversial bond scam, has been appointed the head of this project. We would like to know what happened to those one million jobs. Also, the Prime Minister brags that ETCA would be signed before the end of this year. We know that, despite having a large market, India is a place where cheap labour is available. As such, the danger exists that the youths in our country would lose the right to get proper employment opportunities.
There was a certain report in ‘Hindu’ newspaper in India. In Uttar Pradesh 2.3 million applications had been received for the post of office assistant. Among the applicants were 150,000 graduates, 24,969 post graduates and 2506 persons with doctorates who had applied for the post. There were only 368 vacancies. Just imagine what opportunity our youths would get if our job market is made open. Hence, we tell Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that what he intends doing is not a good thing for our youths.
Then there is the VAT issue. There is a massive crisis due to the VAT. We do not approve these moves of our government. The unfair move of levying taxes on internet and telephone services is being implemented. Rs.49.73 is taxed for Rs.100. This is very unfair. For, we already pay a VAT of 12%. Now, this has been raised to 15%.
It is very clear that the green, blue and green and blue mixed governments would never find solutions for the issues of the masses. This is why we, as the SYU, consider that Comrade Che should be made the model of the youth that look for answers for such issues. The youth of this country should comprehend who Che is and what his intentions and goals were. This is why we carry out these programmes about Comrade Che.
When he was 25 he became a doctor. However, he did not use this position for his comforts. Instead of curing men physically he chose to cure the whole social system. Also, after the Revolution Comrade Che held many positions in Cuba and responsibilities. He became the main commander of the new social system. However, he never used this position to own the prestige of the revolution for himself. He never contributed to create a ‘white van’ culture. Despite heading the Central Bank he never used this position to engage in bond scams. He never got involved in frauds and corruption. He became the Minister of Industries. He never carried out media pageants but lived with the workers. He was a genuine leader. We would like to ask the youths of this country one thing. Isn’t this the type of leaders the country needs? We, of the SYU, create such leaders with such ideals. We hold these celebrations with this intention.
We have arranged motor cycle tours throughout the country on 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th of this month. We would distribute leaflets during these tours to apprise the youth of our programmes. The main item of the programme will be held on the 8th.
The main event will be held at Yahalakelewatta in Horana at 3.00 p.m. on the 8th with the participation of the Ambassador of Cuba and the General Secretary of the JVP Comrade Tilvin Silva.
Also, programmes have been arranged at Trincomalee on the 9th, Galle on the 13th, Negombo on the 16th and Kandy on the 29th.
We ask all those who love Che to be knowledgeable about the life of Che, to follow on his footpath and to join us to work for the people and the country.”

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Broad Front from JVP against government’s ‘selling spree’

“This is not a government. People elect a government to use resources in the country with a good management for the development of the people in the country. However, this government is selling and sacrificing the most important resources that belong to the people. As a political party and trade union movements we would begin a street struggle against government’s policy of selling and sacrificing country’s resources. We would build the broadest force to launch the biggest struggle against the attempt to sell Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, oil tanks at Hambantota, the oil tank farm at Trincomalee, the refinery, Colombo Port,” said the Leader of the JVP Comrade Anura Dissanayaka at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta yesterday (3rd).

The President of National Trade Union Center (NTUC) Comrade K.D. Lal Kantha, the General Secretary of All Ceylon Ports General Workers Union Comrade Chandrasiri Mahagamage, its Asst. Secretary Comrade D. Niroshan, the President of Ceylon Petroleum General Services Union and Provincial Councillor Comrade Ashoka Ranwala and its Organizing Secretary Comrade Ajith Padmasiri Perera were also present.
Speaking further Comrade Anura Dissanayaka said, “The present government is manipulating the economy towards selling and sacrificing the resources of the country. Before this government came to power a view was spread that it is a UNP government that could take the economy of the country towards prosperity, fill pockets of the people with money, where shops would be filled with customers and generate one million jobs. However, after one and a half years in office the government has shown that they were only fairy tales, it cannot increase production, protect the existing production economy, generate jobs or raise the living standard of the people. Besides, even after ten months have gone by this year, there is no definite budget for the country. Neither the Parliament that has fiscal power nor the Ministry of Finance know the income or the expenditure of the country. The economy is manipulated blindly.
The government doesn’t have an economic theory. When the economy of a citizen breaks down he sells the vehicle or the land he owns. This government does the same. Valuable resources of the country are sold to confront the economic crisis. Colombo Port is one such valuable resource. Colombo Port holds the 26th position among harbours in the world. We’re 12th in the list of countries with ports. In all other countries the ports are important on the production and imports of that country. In China Shanghai Harbour has an important place due to the export of its massive loads of products. However, the market in Sri Lanka is small. Import and exports are limited. However, Colombo Port enjoys an important place through transhipment. Colombo Port has 5 container terminals. 2 of them have been already sold. Queen Elizabeth Jetty and South Jetty have been privatized. By 2001 86% of operations in Colombo Port were carried out by Sri Lanka Ports Authority. It has been brought down to 38% at present. However, container movements in Queen Elizabeth Jetty have been increased from 14% in 2011 to 28% now. Container handling the government possessed has come down to 38%. This was due to the shallowness of terminals owned by the government. It was limited to 15 meters. The jetties managed by the private sector have depths of 18 meters and more so that they could accommodate larger container vessels. Later, the East jetty owned by the government was deepened to 18 meters. What is left to do is to fix cranes. Instead of procuring what is required, the government has decided to sell the East Jetty saying it runs at a loss.
It is true that Port Authority is run at a loss. But this loss is not due to the East terminal. By 2015 Sri Lanka Ports Authority incurred a loss of Rs. 141,560 million. During Mahinda Rajapaksa regime Rs. 144,000 million was spent to build Hambantota Harbour. By now the loss due to Hambantota Harbour is Rs.37,180 million. A Rs. 8000 million loan was obtained to build Oluwil Harbour. This loan too is paid by Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Not a single ship has arrived at Oluwil Harbour since 2013. A Naval training school was built near Oluwil Harbour spending funds from Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Only 5 students sought admission. It was handed over to Eastern University. The loss is to the Ports Authority. Rs. 4200 million was spent to build Sooriyawewa Stadium. As such the loss incurred by Port Authority is not an issue of the East terminal. A main reason for the loss incurred by the Port Authority is spending large amounts of money by the governments that ruled this country for projects that had no direct connection with the Port Authority. Hence the attempt to sell East terminal of Colombo Harbour should be defeated. At present Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has presented a cabinet paper to sell 85% of the East terminal. We would guarantee that the JVP together with trade unions and other progressive forces would defeat the attempt by the ‘yahapalana’ government to sell important and sensitive economic centers in the country.
Also, the government has decided to privatize the refinery. The government has planned to establish a private company attached to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and hand over the refinery to this company and carry out work as a joint venture with a foreign company. The refinery needs modernization. The previous government failed to modernize the refinery for nine years. Various other projects were carried out with funds from CPC. The important and sensate economic centers were not modernized. Certain foundation stones laid for modernizations are nine years old now. The present government attempts to privatize the refinery. It is a very unfavourable decision for the country. The refinery that was commissioned in 1969 exported refined fuel by 1975 and earned 45% of the cost for importing fuel. However, the refinery was not modernized to produce the necessary volume.
We have more than 100 tanks within the oil tank farm at Trincomalee. These tanks have a capacity of storing one million metric tons of fuel. The British built the oil tank farm during the second world war for their use. The Muthrurajawela and Kolonnawa tanks we use at present can store only a month’s need of fuel for the country. However, at the oil tank farm at Troincomalee fuel needed for 4 months could be stored. When the prices of fuel go down in the world market we could store 4 months need of fuel in these tanks. It is a very valuable oil tank farm. Earlier a MoU was signed and the farm was handed over to an Indian company. Now this MoU has expired. The government owns the oil tank farm now. With the expiring of the MoU Indian Oil Company has to pay the government US$1 million monthly. Instead of collecting this money Ranil Wickremesinghe is preparing to hand over the oil tank farm to IOC. If we use this oil tank farm all fuel tankers could be brought to Trincomalee Harbour. For, a situation has developed at Kolonnawa where the pipe lines cannot be repaired. Fuel can be appropriately stored in oil tank farm. Despite Minister Chandima Weerakkody getting a cabinet paper approved for 17 of the oil tanks to be used, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is attempting to give the oil tank farm to IOC. The oil tank farm could be made a storing place as well as the distribution center for fuel in our country. Fuel could be distributed to other parts of the island by rail. It is such a resource that is to be sold.
Hambantota Harbour was first proposed as a bunkering, ship repair, ship building, and crew change facilities port. It is near an old sea route. About 500 ships sail along this route. The first proposal was for bunkering. For that a project composed of five up right tanks with dome in 10,000m3, three up right tanks with dome in 5,000m3, three up right tanks with dome in 3,000m3, three spherical LPG tanks with 2,000m3 and all necessary auxiliary facilities were built. A ship could pump fuel to the oil terminal in one day. Ships take 7 days to unload fuel to Muthurajawela and Kolonnawa tanks. Hence unloading fuel at Troncomalee is seven times faster. This would bring in larger profits. The government, instead of handing over the bunkering service at Hambantota to the Ports Authority, called for tenders. IOC, a Chinese company and Ports Authority applied. Ports Authority won the tender. However, the government is preparing to hand over the tanks at Hambantota to a Chinese company. Government’s attempt to sell and sacrifice the oil tank farm at Trincomalee is to be repeated at Hambantota as well.
Maithri – Ranil administration is like public auctioneers. This is not a government. People elect a government to use resources in the country with a good management for the development of the people in the country. However, this government is selling and sacrificing the most important resources that belong to the people. As a political party and trade union movements we would begin a street struggle against government’s policy of selling and sacrificing country’s resources. We would build the broadest force to launch the biggest struggle against the attempt to sell Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, oil tanks at Hambantota, the oil tank farm at Trincomalee, the refinery and the East terminal at Colombo Port.
If bunkering service at Hambantota is privatized the government will lose the returns. We would not be able to get it back. The East Jetty in Colombo Harbour is to be given to a private company for 35 years. The government will not gain anything for 35 years. If the refinery owned by CPC is privatized the country wouldn’t get any profits. These are very important economic centers of our country. Hence, the destruction Maithri – Ranil administration is going to do to the country should be stopped. We, as a political movement and important trade unions in the country, call upon all trade unions, people and journalists to come forward to prevent the government from selling important and precious centers of the economy of our country.”

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JVP sends message to 67th National Day of People’s Republic of China

“Between 1937 and 1945, as many as 20 million Chinese people perished and 50 million were left homeless. In 1949 average life expectancy was 32 years and 90 % of the population lived outside cities, some in great poverty in rural areas, where purified water and electricity were rarities. The CPC in 1949 started the epic challenge of reconstructing the country’s physical and human capital.
Nearly seven decades later, by 2016 China had emancipated 700 million people out of poverty. No any country, other than China in the history of mankind, has fulfilled a herculean task of this caliber,” states a message sent by the Political Bureau of the JVP to Chinese Communist Party at its 67th National Day celebrations.
Full text of the message:
Dear Comrades
Allow me, on behalf of the Political Bureau of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People’s Liberation Front – JVP) to express the Communist Party of China and the people of China the most cordial and revolutionary greetings on this day the glorious National Day of the People’s Republic of China is celebrated.
We have followed with enthusiasm and great attention the speedy progress of the Chinese people under the able and correct guidance of the Communist Party of China and are proud and enthusiastic about the great achievements the people in China have acquired under the leadership of Communist Party of China.
Between 1937 and 1945, as many as 20 million Chinese people perished and 50 million were left homeless. In 1949 average life expectancy was 32 years and 90 % of the population lived outside cities, some in great poverty in rural areas, where purified water and electricity were rarities. The CPC in 1949, started the epic challenge of reconstructing the country’s physical and human capital.
Nearly seven decades later, by 2016 China had emancipated 700 million people out of poverty. No any country, other than China in the history of mankind, has fulfilled a herculean task of this caliber. The average life expectancy has been elevated to mid 70s and adult literacy rate is over 97%. Annually 7 million young Chinese are graduated from Chinese universities. Today china is the world’s largest patents holder and it’s far above the combine total of the USA and Japan. Through 13 consecutive 5 years planning schemes China has become the world’s largest economy (in PPP terms). All these and other thousands of examples have shown the correctness and the capacity of the CPC.
We look forward to China lead by the Great Chinese Communist Party to be a beacon to the progressive, left and revolutionary people all over the world who fight against US imperialism and its lackeys.
We are confident that all progressive, left and revolutionary masses in the world are bound by an unbreakable friendship with the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party and immeasurably rejoice at their great victories.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna wholeheartedly wishes that the Communist Party of China and the great Chinese people will achieve new and ever greater successes and victories on the bright road of socialism.
Long live the great and glorious Peoples Republic of China!
Long live Friendship between Two peoples!
With fraternal greetings,
Tilvin Silva,
General Secretary,
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People’s Liberation Front – JVP)
1st October 2016.