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Thursday, 2 May 2013

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MAY DAY RELIEF FOR PEOPLE

* No power tariff hike for those using less than 60 units

* Low interest loans for self employed

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 per month.

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.

Economic Development Minister and SLFP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa welcomed thousands of people entering the Campbell Park at the entrance.

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 masses.

“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 the country.

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 Sobitha Thera.

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.

 

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