• The democracy lies with the verdict of our people. Let’s join us in our struggle to take forward this nation.

    Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the leaders of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and its alliance party leaders are seeking legal advice on the interim order issued by Court of Appeal today.

    We will appeal in the Supreme Court tomorrow morning and will continue our call fr a snap General Election.

    The political instability has continued into its second month and we have always believed that democracy lies with the verdict of our people.

    We as politicians were elected to Parliament because of the trust placed in us by our voters so at a time of crisis we call for our voters to decide on who should govern them, who should lead them and who should represent them in Parliament.

    We call each and every one of you to join us in our struggle to take forward this nation through a free and fair General Election.

    #LetMeVote #GeneralElectionNow

  • Dramatic Glacier Melt: language in a time of climate change – Let’s fight together against global warming & save our planet !

    Sports has always been a subject very close to my heart. From early childhood to now, I have always believed that sports unites communities and it is a sector that has to be heavily developed for the betterment of our youth.

    Whilst I am passionate about rugby, I am also a passionate trekker.
    A few months ago, I was fortunate to achieve any of my dreams. I successfully submitted Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

    However while I was there, I realized the impact global warming has on all these beautiful mountains. Our glaciers are melting due to the excessive warmth and we must act now.

    Sri Lanka has always been a country dedicated to combating global warming and my party, the SLPP and I will ensure that more is done to address this matter for our children and our future generations to come.

    It is time we save our glaciers.

  • New Economic Policy Framework of this Government is to take the Country forward for the betterment of our children and the future generations to come.

    When my father Hon. Mahinda Rajapakse took oaths as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on Oct 26, it was a time the country was already facing a severe economic crisis whilst the cost of living was a burden to us all.

    For three years, when the UNP were in government, Hon Rajapakse sat in the opposition benches, and watched while the UNP MPs including Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe only kept raising the prices of all basic and essential items.

    When questioned, each MP came up with a different excuse.

    The country had no proper economic policies in place and there were no concessions offered. Every sector bared the brunt of the weak policies of the UNP whilst their ministers only benefited through back door deals.

    Today, despite all the criticism and opposition Prime Minister Rajapakse is facing from the UNF Alliance who severely failed each and every one of us, my father, Prime Minister Rajapakse and President Maithripala Sirisena have a government in place.

    Prime Minister Rajapakse, in his special statement in Parliament recently said he took over as he could not bear to see the hardships faced by each one of you. We all had suffered enough these past three years.

    Today, just over a month since being in government there have been several concessions already put in place by the new government. These concessions, which I have mentioned below will benefit all sectors and each citizen, from those living below the poverty line and those who are contributing immensely towards the economy of this country. I have listed the concessions in detail below.

     CONSUMERS 

    A Special Commodity Levy was reduced on Dhal (Lentil) by Rs.5 per kg, Yellow Dhal (Watana) by Rs.10 per kg, Chickpeas by Rs. 5 per kg, Black Gram by Rs.25 per kg and Sugar by Rs.10 per kg. Customs Duty was also waived on wheat grain effectively reducing import cost by Rs.9 per kg.

    Price of Petrol (Octane 92) was reduced by Rs.10 per liter, Auto Diesel by Rs. Rs.7 per liter and Lubricants by Rs.10 per liter to reduce operational cost on transport, agriculture, and fisheries sectors.

    The monthly pricing formula for price adjustment has abandoned and likely to be replaced by administered pricing based on cost to provide price stability.

    The VAT threshold has been increased from Rs.12 million per annum to Rs.24 million per annum, to relieve small times businesses from VAT from Jan 1, 2019.

    The threshold for the VAT liability of wholesale and retail sector also to be increased from Rs.50 million to Rs.100 million per 12 months providing benefits to small traders and businesses from Jan 1, 2019.

    The VAT rate applicable on the import of Sawn Timber reduced to 5 PCT to support the local construction industry from Nov 1, 2018.

    VAT on import of fabric exempted providing benefits to the small and medium garment manufacturers catering the local market from Nov 1, 2018.

    The Telecommunication Levy of 25 PCT was reduced to 15 PCT.

     Agriculture and Farmers 

    A guaranteed price scheme was introduced for Paddy, Onion and Potatoes produced locally. SCL is expected to raise during harvesting period and reduce during off harvesting period to protect farmers through remunerative prices.

    Interest and the penal interest charged on farmers and small paddy mill owners on loans up to a maximum of Rs.50 million by all commercial banks during the past three years is to be written off in full and will be borne by the government to infuse greater liquidity to agriculture in the 2018/201 Maha cultivation season which has commenced with favorable weather.

    The maximum threshold on loan advances given by Samurdhi Banks to low income households (Samurdhi beneficiaries) to support their livelihood activities was increased by Rs.10,000.

    Fertilizer prices for Paddy to be maintained at Rs.500/50 kilo bag to support food production and plantation agriculture.

    The income of individuals from agriculure undertakings to be reduced from the current rate of 24 PCT to 14 PCT to encourage farming, agriculture effective from April 1, 2019.

    Agriculture income from cultivation from any agriculture produced such as tea, coconut, rubber, paddy, fruits, vegetables are exempted from income taxation for a period of 5 year period.

    Taxation on agricultural processing industries to be reduced from 28 PCT to 14 PCT.

     Small Businesses 

    Threshold income for the economic service charge to be increased from 12.5 million per quarter to Rs.50 million per quarter.

    Loans raised by women in drought affected districts from micro finance institutions up to Rs.100,000 to be written off.

     Professionals and Individual Tax Payers 

    The income Tax rate for professional services and individuals was also reduced from 24 PCT to 14 PCT effective from 1 April, 2019.

     Children, Senior Citizens 

    Interest income of children’s deposits under 18 years of age is exempted.

    These concessions are the immediate concessions offered to the public. In addition the government is also working at attracting large scale foreign investments and is looking at infrastructural development, such as the construction of fresh highways, build more roads etc, so that we as a nation can be in par with other countries in the region.

    While the UNF remains steadfast to continue the political instability, we as a government have begun our work. We have wasted too much time already. We will not let the people suffer anymore.

    While we, the SLPP will also continue our call for a General Election, to have a stronger, larger government in place, we call on each and every one of you to support us. Support Prime Minister Rajapakse. Support his call for a General Election. It is time we as a nation move forward for the betterment of our children and the future generations to come.

  • The greed and selfishness of the United National Party deepening Sri Lanka’s political crisis.

    Today, a month after the political crisis begun in Sri Lanka due to the greed and selfishness of the United National Party to remain in power, despite failing to serve the people, our call for a General Election has only become stronger.

    Today, people are on the streets holding placards saying ‘LetmeVote’, a call which should be heard and adhered to, not mocked and ignored.

    In any democratic country, when a severe political crisis surfaces, it is only right that the people’s opinion is sought immediately as to who should govern them. Who should they elect to government as their Prime Minister and their cabinet.

    However, sadly in Sri Lanka today, with a party like the United National Party, the word democracy only means to sort things without seeking public opinion.
    The entire country is aware that the UNP have never been a people oriented party. They have never listened to the masses. They have never visited the farmer, the villager, the school teacher, the baker or the small vendor on the side of the road and asked him his/her issues. They have never had the decency to leave their luxury offices and mansions in their suits to find out the issues facing this country.

    This attitude is what bought us down as a nation within these past three years. And it is this attitude that costed us heavily.

    You are all aware that my father, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has always been a people’s leader. There has never been a day in his political career that he has not opened his door to listen to the voices of the people, whether it be those from poor financial backgrounds or of those from the elite society. He has made time for the nation. He has made time for each one of you.

    Now that Prime Minister Rajapakse is in power once again, after the severe failure of the UNP government and their leader, Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP have spun into action day and night asking for democracy to prevail.
    If only the UNP had worked this hard to uplift this beautiful country these past three years, in the same manner they are now working in trying to remain in power.

    These past three years we have been a failed nation. I call each and every one of you to visit the rural areas of this country. To visit the north. To visit the east. To visit the South. To visit the West.
    You will see no development other than the development the previous Rajapakse government had bought in. You will hear nothing but people saying the UNP had failed them.

    On Oct 26, President Maithripala Sirisena, being fully aware that the country was suffering from a severe economic crisis, appointed Mahinda Rajapakse as the Prime Minister. Hon Rajapakse, who had never stopped working for the nation even while being in the opposition ranks, accepted the position vowing to strengthen this country economically, politically and socially.
    But first he vowed to do one thing. To provide immediate relief to the people by lowering the cost of living. He knew this had become a burden to all.

    Today, when Prime Minister Rajapakse and his party want to hand over the power to the people to decide on who should govern them, the UNP who have always ignored the people’s voice, are saying a General Election is not needed.
    And now, to make a mockery out of this whole crisis, some MPs from the UNP including Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe are calling for a Presidential Election.

    Holding a Presidential Election is not going to solve any crisis. As it is a stable and strong government we need in place.
    The Presidential Election will eventually be held but a new President at this point of time will not be able to bring in a strong government.

    From day one Prime Minister Rajapakse has been calling for a General Election. His calls have been ignored, mocked criticized by a party who has severely failed us. They have not had any audacity to step out of their luxury offices to work for the people.
    Prime Minister Rajapakse’s call for a General Election will continue. He and his party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna along with the UPFA want you, the citizens to vote. We are here because of you all. We are elected because of you all. Now we leave it to you all to decide on who should take this country forward. We have already failed three years. Now you decide.

  • How can knowing the people’s verdict ever be undemocratic?

    Today, Sri Lanka enters into its second month of political instability, which began after the UNP were unable to give up power despite President Maithripala Sirisena sacking former Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe and his cabinet due to their inability to work for the nation within the past 3 and a half years.

    Sri Lanka, known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, today, is facing political unrest and is unable to move forward.

    This is only because of the thuggish behavior of the UNP MPs and their attempt to deny the people a vote.

    We are all aware of the troubled back ground of the UNP. As I have written earlier, in these past three and a half years, the UNP have only failed their voters and the nation in whole.

    These past three and a half years, not one single mega foreign investment has entered our shores. Unemployment had only kept rising and the cost of living had become a burden especially for those in the rural areas.

    There were taxes charged in almost every sector, there was no control over the rupee, and there was only talk. This ‘talk’ costed us heavily.

    On Sunday President Maithripala Sirisena, said that he would appoint a special commission to probe into the fraud committed by some UNP MPs. He was certain that there would be frauds of serious nature, which would surface. No President would make such a statement if this was untrue.

    The people’s frustration on the UNP government was clearly evident when the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna who was backed by my father, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse won the local council election by a landslide victory in February.

    Following their defeat, Hon. Wickremesinghe had admitted that this was a warning for them, that the people had shown they were unhappy.

    In order to avoid another humiliating defeat, the UNP, which has a history of delaying elections, kept postponing the provincial council elections. Till the cabinet was sacked, there was no talk what so ever on when the provincial council elections would be held.

    Today, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe and his party, knowing they have failed, are fearing an election. While our call for a General Election is getting stronger every passing day, Hon. Wickremesinghe and his party are only saying this will be undemocratic.

    How can knowing the people’s verdict ever be undemocratic? And where was democracy when there was no talk of a provincial council election?

    Today, the UNP Leader, says all the parties will consult each other as to when an election should be held. I would like to remind Hon. Wickremesinghe that we are in politics today because of the people, because of our voters. So when the country is facing a political crisis, it is only right that we allow our voters to decide. We do not need to get the consent of parties as to when an election should be held. This clearly proves that Hon. Wickremesinghe seems to have no clue of the motto ‘People are Supreme’.

    Furthermore, some UNP MPs including Hon Wickremesinghe, now says the country should first hold a Presidential Election. This statement is purely selfish. He clearly feels a Presidential Election will be the only way he can remain as the UNP Party Leader, especially at a time when there is trouble within his own party.

    Hon. Wickremesinghe is definitely under pressure by his own MPs to resign as the Party Leader and definitely as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

    What we need now is a General Electiom so that we can have a stable government in place. Its a stable government that can strengthen all sectors and move this country forward. With so much unrest a Presidential Election will not the solve the issue.

    Never have we seen anywhere in the world, that denying the people a vote is termed as unconstitutional, at a time when a country is facing a political crisis.

    My party, the SLPP, since Oct 26 has visited all districts across the island. The result of the majority of people is clear. They want a General Election and it is only right that their voices are heard. It is only right that the citizens of this country decide who their next government should be. It is only right that we as politicians respect our people.