MAY DAY RELIEF FOR PEOPLE
* No power tariff hike for
those using less than 60 units
* Low interest loans for self
The Power tariff will not be increased for the consumers whose
electricity usage does not exceed 60 units a month, said President
Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President also stressed that a percentage of
relief would be introduced to the consumer who uses less than 180 units
Largest crowd ever seen at a May Day rally
Thousands of people, mainly
workers spilled out of Campbell Park and the surrounding
areas yesterday giving a clear message of confidence and
solidarity with the United People’s Freedom Alliance which
brought development to the country by eradicating terrorism.
Massive crowds representing
the SLFP and the constituent parties of the UPFA kept
streaming on to the Campbell Park, where the UPFA held its
May Day rally under the theme of Rata Nagana Mai Rella,
begining from Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre
yesterday. Leaders of the UPFA constituent parties were
united in their voice against a massive campaign launched by
some elements with vested interests to tarnish the country’s
image which was liberated from the clutches of terrorism.
They vowed to defeat all
forces including the Opposition trying to drag the country
into another conflict by fanning the flames of racism and
hatred among the communities. The presence of a large crowd
at the UPFA May Day rally dealt a severe blow to the
treacherous elements that are working overtime against the
motherland. Yesterday was the largest crowd ever seen at a
May Day rally in the country and the presence of massive
crowds in the UPFA May Day rally was a slap in the face of
the UNP which is pandering to the LTTE diaspora.
A proposal was made at the
May Day Rally to defeating all forces operating locally and
internationally that are trying to under - estimate the
government’s achievement of eradicating terrorism.
This proposal was made by
Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal
Siripala De Silva. “We are committed to defeating all forces
trying to undervalue Sri Lanka’s achievement of eradicating
terrorism that plagued the country for more than 30 years,”
the minister said in his proposal.
The people’s representatives
of the UPFA including ministers walked with the masses all
the way from Nelum Pokuna Theatre to Campbell Park showing
their dedication and commitment towards the protection and
promotion of worker rights.
Minister and SLFP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa
welcomed thousands of people entering the Campbell Park at
Western Province Governor
and Trade Union leader Alavi Mowlana made the welcome speech
while Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya Secretary Leslie
Devendra and leaders of UPFA trade unions also spoke.
UPFA General Secretary
Minister Susil Premajayantha, SLFP General Secretary and
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Labour Relations
Minister Gamini Lokuge also addressed the rally.
“Power tariff will not be increased for the consumers whose usage
does not exceed 60 units a month, under any circumstance”, he said.
He said that the power tariff of the consumers who use up to 90 units
will be given a relief by making 95 units the limit.
He said that he met trade unions and the people in many parts of the
country and asked how they feel about the power tariff hike.
The President was addressing a massive UPFA May Day rally at Campbell
Park yesterday. The crowds representing the SLFP and the constituent
parties of the UPFA were seen struggling to enter the park , even while
the the last speaker was delivering his speech.
President Rajapaksa said that those who are engaged in self
employment would soon be able to obtain low interest loans.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa added that the Opposition has never been
for the working masses of the country. “They are dancing according to
the tune of the diaspora whose main objective is to divide the country
at any cost,” he added.
“The Opposition which has a history of aiding and abetting the
terrorists to divide the country has now started protests carrying
candles”, he said.
The President stressed that the Opposition which talks about the
power tariff hike, lacked courage and stamina to begin the construction
of the Upper Kotmale Project or Norochcholai Coal Power Plant.
The President said the Opposition was able to provide electricity to
only 45 per cent of households in the country. “Many houses in rural
areas were not provided electricity,” he said.
The President added that the government led by him provided
electricity to over 95 per cent of households in the country. He said
that the interest rate for such loans would be reduced soon.
The President recalled participating in May Day rallies as a student,
a youth, Trade Unionist, Parliamentarian, Labour Minister, Opposition
Leader, Prime Minister and the President.
He said yesterday’s rally was the largest ever held in the country.
The President said the the Government has to face a number of charges,
as well as the commendation from many quarters, due to the eradication
of terrorism in the country.
The President added that the Government was committed to the
protection and promotion workers’ rights. He said that the Government
was committed to the uplift of the living standards of the working
“There was an era in the country where those passing out from
universities staged massive protests demanding employment for their
degrees,’ he said.
“Protests were seen at every May Day rally demanding jobs for
graduates. The President said the government ensures employment to all
graduates, once they leave the universities.
“There are no unemployed graduates in the country as the Government
recruited over 100,000 graduates to the government service as nurses,
teachers and other officials,” he said.
He added that the youth unrest which was presumed to be the main
cause for youth insurrection in the country no longer exists.
The President added that the unrest within the Opposition is still
prevalent though unrest among the youth of the country is non existent.
The President spoke of the era where all state ventures were sold for
song by the UNP Government. He said that UNP era witnessed massive
scarcity of employment. Many State ventures established by the
progressive governments in the 1960s and 1970s were sold without any
consideration. President Rajapaksa added that the unemployment rate
which was 25 per cent during the UNP era was brought down to a single
digit of 4 percent by the UPFA Government.
He added that the UNP Government dismissed thousands of workers who
took part in the 1980 July Strike demanding an increase of Rs. 10.
The President said many countries were affected by economic recession
and food scarcity that swept across the world . “Sri Lanka remained
resilient in the face of world economic recession and food scarcity, due
to the programmss launched by the Government.
The President added that the Government for the first time consulted
the Trade Unions and working masses for the preparation of the budget.
“There was an era where only the IMF and WB representatives discussed
the budget with the government”, he said.
He said the Government succeeded in maintaining industrial peace in
He said that a circular has been issued by the Government directing
all institutions to obtain the support of trade unions for the smooth
function of such institutions. President Rajapaksa added that the
Government increased the salaries of the working mass at every budget.He
said the salaries of the private sector were increased by 35 per cent
through the Salaries and Wages Boards.
“No where in the world are citizens of a country ensured free health
and education facilities as is done in Sri Lanka,” the President said.
He said the members of the farming and fishing community receive
unprecedented relief from the government.
The President added that the UNP government unleashed violence on
intellectuals, such as, Prof Ediriweera Sarachchadra and Ven Maduluwawe
The President added that thousands of youth who were forcibly
conscripted by the LTTE are working for the country’s development after
been rehabilitated. He said thousands of youth representing all parts of
the North participated in the May Day rally showing their dedication and
commitment for the country’s development.