“The salary of a MP with all allowances is about Rs. 160,000. The government MPs get Rs. 460,000 with transport and office allowances. However, Ranil Wickremesinghe talks about difficulties for MPs. He doesn’t understand the difficulties of the people. The MPs and ministers are given various privileges and benefits while suppressing people’s issues. This is very unjustifiable. This is how a Bonaparte type administration works.
The JVP would rally the masses against the Bonaparte type government carried out by Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe suppressing people’s issues, overpowering people’s forces while giving privileges and benefits to MPs and ministers. Also, we ask the people to come forward to defeat the sinister moves of Ranil – Maithri government,” said the Information Secretary of the JVP Gampaha District Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath.
He said this at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta yesterday (1st).
Speaking further Mr. Herath said, “The present government carries out a Bonaparte type administration suppressing genuine issues of the people, suppressing people’s forces struggling for rights but giving privileges and concessions for MPs, ministers and also for former President. With the presentation of the budget proposals people have been burdened with large scale taxes. They are tormented with colossal fines. They are trapped by the Value Added Tax (VAT). People are further tormented by adding more taxes in the budget. While the burden of taxes, fines increase, other issues of the masses too multiply.
People in farming areas such as Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are denied water necessary for their cultivations. Though it was decided to give a meager sum of money instead of the fertilizer subsidy that was taken away, the farmer community is distressed due to non availability of this money in time. The cultivations fail if water and fertilizer is not made available in due time. Meanwhile, Samurdhi officers throughout the island are distressed due to the ‘Divi Neguma’ Act introduced by former Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa of the former Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. When the Act was introduced the JVP pointed out the issues that would come up. However, neither the previous regime nor the present administration heeded the warnings. Samurdhi officers have not got solutions for their issues from both administrations. When Samurdhi officers agitate at the Parliament Roundabout demanding their rights, they are suppressed with tear gas and water cannon.
University students continue to agitate against privatization of education to save free education. The Minister and the government were made aware of the boarding, drinking water, shortage of lecturers and professors issues. However, they act like deaf elephants. The students have no other alternative but to take to the streets. The government deployed police to brutally attack with tear gas, water cannon and then baton charge students who agitated recently. Still some students are being treated in the National Hospital and Jayawardenepura Hospital. The government, instead of solutions, is unleashing suppression.
The government that boasted that the state service would be made independent by appointing independent commissions is moving on a completely opposite direction. Officials who act against frauds and corruption are punished by removing theme and transferring them. At present many honest officials in ministries and departments have been removed from their posts. Ministers present cabinet papers to remove officials when they oppose irregular tender proceedings. When interviews are held and new prison guards are recruited to the Department of Prisons, the Minister stops the process. The reason is a list of 150 names put forward by the Minister has not been selected. There is an attempt, based on this incident, to transfer the Commissioner of Prisons. Can we call this ‘good governance’?
Also, the audit officer who said the project to build a new building for the prison was not according to the tender proceeding has been transferred. The Additional Secretary who refused to pay Rs. 21100000 as monthly rent for a building still not being used by the Ministry of Agriculture has been transferred. A secretary who opposed renting vehicles for the Ministry of Tourism has been transferred. The District Secretary for Ratnapura who opposed a project of a powerful minister in Ratnapura District has been transferred. The government that stated the state service would be strengthened by establishing independent commissions is following the moves of Rajapaksa regime of attempting to make state officials their lackeys.
Recently, a struggle developed in Department of Labour based on several demands put forward by Labour Officers. This has not been solved yet. However, the Minister of Labour has presented a cabinet paper to deny salaries of the Labour Officers. Engaging in trade union action is a right of the working masses. The Minister of the government that is expected to protect the rights of the workers brings cabinet papers to cut the salaries of the Labour Officers who engaged in a trade union action. Also, the government has abolished the right employees of the private sector had to get housing loans keeping their EPF as security. When the budget was presented the Minister of Labour says he was not aware of such a thing.
These moves of the government indicate that it attempts to sweep under the carpet all issues of the masses, state employees, farmers, students and all downtrodden people. The masses that struggle for their rights are repressed instead of finding solutions for their issues. Also, this government has taken measures to take legal action against farmer community that struggles for their rights.
While masses are repressed the government, to protect its voracious regime, is making available privileges as well as various benefits and concessions to MPs, ministers as well as the former President.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was given a house by this government. The house on Wijerama Mawatha in Colombo 7 where former Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar lived was used by President Maithripala Sirisena. Later it was given to Mahinda Rajapaksa allocating Rs.30 million for renovations. Without stopping at that the government has presented a supplementary estimate of Rs.19.97 million again to build another building in the compound. These are the perks the privileged get from the government. Earlier too Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe allocated money to buy tyres for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vehicle. This is how gratitude is expressed for carpeting the road near ‘Sirikotha’ to save the UNP from its members. It is because of these privileges and perks that Mahinda Rajapaksa avoids voting against the budget, VAT and the no-confidence motion. These are the real deals between these individuals.
Also, a supplementary estimate has been presented to buy vehicles for ministers of the government. Rs.700,000 is allocated monthly for vehicles for each of the 58 government MPs. Already, these MPs are given a fuel allowance of Rs.200,000.
“The salary of a MP with all allowances is about Rs. 160,000. The government MPs get Rs. 460,000 with transport and office allowances. However, Ranil Wickremesingeh talks about difficulties for MPs. He doesn’t understand the difficulties of the people. The MPs and ministers are given various privileges and benefits while suppressing people’s issues. This is very unjustifiable. This is how a Bonaparte type administration works.
The JVP would rally the masses against the Bonaparte type government carried out by Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe suppressing people’s issues, overpowering people’s forces while giving privileges and benefits to MPs and ministers. Also, we ask the people to come forward to defeat the sinister moves of Ranil – Maithri government,” said the Information Secretary of the JVP.