Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed leaders of the Joint Opposition (JO) to commence several massive protest campaigns against the people being heavily burdened with the taxes imposed on them.
This instruction was given at a discussion, between the Rajapaksa and party leaders of the JO, held yesterday (24) evening at Rajapaksa’s official residence in Colombo 7.
Sri Lanka Freedom Party Ratnapura District MP Ranjith Zoysa added that the 10 per cent rental tax, in effect since 1 April, to the 15% tax imposed on gold, had the effect of the public falling from the frying pan into the fire.
Thus, the JO has decided to conduct island-wide protests cum public awareness campaigns in this connection.
MPs Bandula Gunawardena and Gamini Lokuge have been tasked with leading the campaigns. The anti-taxes theme will also feature in the JO’s May Day rally on 7 May in Galle, he added.
The JO has meanwhile also decided to conduct discussions with other political parties, with the view of putting in place the mechanism required for the expeditious conduct of the Provincial Council polls.
It was also decided that since selecting Councilors at the PC Elections on a 50 per cent first-past-the-post (FPTP) basis and 50 per cent proportional representation (PR) basis would result in a state of anarchy within the PCs, the JO would support the Elections being held on the 70:30 ratio in terms of the FPTP and the PR, Zoysa added.
Also, it was decided that the JO would participate in the new Session of the Parliament which is scheduled to commence on 8 May and would request a debate on the President’s Government policy statement only if required.