JVP organises countrywide protests against fuel price hike


JVP General Secretary addressing media yesterday, Central Committee member Lakshman Nipunarachchi looks on

By Saman Indrajith

The JVP will conduct a two-day countrywide protest campaign next Monday and Tuesday against fuel prices hikes, which it calls unfair.

JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva, addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Pelawatte yesterday, said that the government had jacked up fuel prices on May 10 and at a time the people were burdened with increases in the prices of essentials and bus and trishaw fares.

"This back-to-back fuel price hikes are unbearable. The government has no clear economic policy. It might as well introduce a formula to increase the salaries of public and private Sector employees every two months in line with the fuel price increases because people find it difficult to make ends meet.

Silva said the people were unaware of the formula to increase fuel prices and urged the government to reveal it to the people. People had a right to know the fuel price increasing formula.

The JVP General Secretary called on the government explain to the nation the reasons behind the fuel price increase as neither the crude oil prices had gone up in the world market nor the Government had introduced a new tax.

"Fuel prices in the world market have not gone up. Fluctuation in the prices by USD cents cannot be considered a price increase. It is only a difference of couple of cents. The government is trying to justify placing a huge economic burden on people by hiding behind the formula on fuel prices. Fuel prices have gone up due to excessive taxes imposed by the government," he said.

Silva said prices of all commodities might go up again, including bus fares, other transport costs, fishery and agricultural produce due to the fuel price increase.

"The government is selling state assets rather than developing industries in the country," he said.

The price of a litre of petrol unloaded at the Colombo Port cost only Rs 78.43. "The government has added a tax of Rs 60.63. How come the very same President who did not agree to the price hike on July 5, changed his mind just after two days? It shows that the President, too, has no clear policy. Today, we do not have a proper government. There is a power struggle between the President and the Prime Minister. The President and the Cabinet are at loggerheads. People are compelled to pay the price of their follies," Silva said.

JVP Central Committee member Lakshman Nipunarachchi also addressed the media.

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