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UNP demands immediate Rs. 7,500/- pay hike for employees

A demand for the granting of an immediate Rs. 7,500/- salary increase to the working class was amongst three key resolutions the United National Party (UNP) adopted unanimously at yesterday’s executive committee meeting at party headquarters ‘Sirikotha’.

As the cost of living has zoomed and the common masses found it unbearable to eke out an existence with the price of essential commodities skyrocketing, the UNP resolution sought this immediate pay hike to grant relief to the people.

Apart from the demand to grant relief to the masses by bringing down the cost of living, the other resolutions adopted related to amendments to the Constitution and devolution of power.

The executive committee meeting was presided by UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. The proceedings began after General Secretary Tissa Attanayake moved that the party’s executive committee be convened.

Wickremesinghe called upon party

activists to gear up to face a snap general election. "The government will be forced to go for a poll as it is facing an unprecedented financial crisis", he asserted.

Foreign debts are mounting and the government is unable to repay, he said. "The economy is in shambles".

The election of officer bearers for the year 2008 was proposed by Wickremesinghe and received the unanimous approval of all members present. There were no changes to the existing leadership structure.

The proposal to grant an immediate Rs. 7,500 pay increase to the working masses was moved by Joseph Michael Perera, MP and seconded by Kabir Hashim, MP.

Prior to his address to the executive committee, the party leader sought the approval of the membership to voice their support or opposition to the proposals. All members present raised their hands in unison approving the resolutions.

UNP sources said that the office bearers were elected for 2008 because the executive committee meeting was due to meet last March but could not do so due to unavoidable circumstances.

On an imminent change to the leadership structure, the sources said it could happen during next month’s party Convention.

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