The Democratic Party (DP) yesterday said that the growing resentment over unprecedented electricity tariff increase could be transformed into a mammoth political campaign.
War winning Army Commander retired General Sarath Fonseka heads the recently recognized political party.
The government was withering under heavy pressure with ministers accusing each other of proposing the latest electricity tariff hike, MP Ketagoda said. He pointed out that UPFA constituents, the LSSP, CP, MEP, NFF as well as SLFP trade union boss Leslie Devendra had been critical of the electricity hike and the failure on the part of the government to manage the economy.
The late Ranasinghe Premadasa, the second Executive President of the Democratic Socialists Republic of Sri Lanka and the Head of the armed forces, was assassinated on my May 01, 1993, by a suicide bomber strapped with explosives, during the United National Party May Day procession in Colombo North.
His 20th death anniversary falls today.
He was born at No. 12, Dias Place in the Keselwatta Ward, San Sebestian’s Hill, Colombo 12 on June 23, 1924, to the Buddhist family of Richard Ranasinghe of Hegalla, Kosgoda in the Galle District and Mrs. Ratuwita Jayasinghe Arachchige Ensina Hamine of Ratuwita in Horana in the Kalutara District.
It is with great honour that we extend the gratitude of the nation to the working people of our country who have given us the opportunity to celebrate International Workers’ Day with respect and dignity, President Mahinda Rajapaksa issuing a May Day message said.
The message: On this May Day, I join in solidarity with the workers of Sri Lanka who come together with all working people of the world to achieve their rights. Sri Lanka is now a middle income country, an achievement made possible due to guiding of the national economy in the proper direction. The driving force behind this has been the working people of our country, who have looked correctly towards the future of our land.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will today spell out a relief measure., especially for lower rung electricity consumers, who were badly hit by the tariff revision that came into effect on April 20, a top Power and Energy Ministry official said.
Ministry Secretary M. M. C. Ferdinando told The Island that President Rajapaksa would come out with the relief package as he was not happy with the recent tariff revision that would cause numerous hardships in various quarters especially, poor segments of the society.
Born on May 1,1891 in Kandy, A.E. Goonesinghe was educated at Dharmaraja College. On leaving school he sought employment as a clerk in the Railway Department, at the start. Later he took to Journalism, publishing the Journal “Search Light” to support the National Movement for freedom. He was instrumental in forming “The Young Lanka League” on March 2, 1915 along with Victor Corea, a lawyer from Chilaw, directed towards fighting against colonialism. He also formed the “Gandhi Association” inspired by the Indian National Movement fighting for freedom from colonial rule. The “Lanka Workers” Association was his brainchild, which was the forerunner to the formation of worker organisations or trade unions, later on.
The government’s May Day gift in the form of a shocking electricity tariff hike, has delivered a devastating blow to 85 per cent of public and private sector workers.
The UNP’s Media spokesperson Gayantha Karunathillake MP, told The Island yesterday that in 2010, a family of four required Rs.18,000 per to live, according to official statistics. In successive years the figure was raised to Rs.23,000, Rs.35,000 and Rs.40,000 respectively. But, 80 percent of government employees still drew a monthly salary of less than Rs.17,000,while 85 percent of those in the private sector received a remuneration of less than Rs.15,000.
Whenever Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera formulated something he always created a crisis in the country, Minister Wimal Weerawansa charged yesterday.
“He was responsible for formulating the new electricity tariffs,” he said.
Speaking at a function in Piliyandala Central College Mr. Weerawansa charged that Dr. Jayasundera was someone who created crisis in the country and the new electricity tariff formula which charges less from the rich and more from the poor was formulated by Dr. Jayasundera.
Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, addressing a gathering recently said the committee to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), should be headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Nanayakkara was responding to a query during a discussion held to formulate ways and means of implementing the National Policy for Social Integration. He added that the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration is working towards implementing some of the LLRC recommendations that comes under its purview.
Today is May Day. Its history is the bitter, protracted struggle carried out by the working masses sacrificing their lives, shedding their blood and sweat and making boundless sacrifices to win an eight hour working day.
However, the world economic depression that has entangled the capitalist world is depriving the working masses even the rights they won in the past. It is under such an environment the working masses all over the world are commemorating the May Day today.