The Sunday Leader

JVP Cannot Be Bought For Money – K.D. Lalkantha

By Dilhan Wimalka

JVP Politburo member and Head of the National Trade Union Center (NTUC), K.D. Lalkantha observed that the JVP has lost faith in the national government and said the budget 2016 has nothing that benefits the common man. Instead he said that the general public has been further burdened as all imposed taxes will eventually pile onto the shoulders of the people. Commenting on the state sector employees he said that this budget has failed to address any of the concerns of the working class and provide them with any concessions. The State sector employees had requested the government to include all allowances due to them in their salaries. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe promised to grant this request to the State sector before the end of September, but he failed to keep his promise. However, the unions and the State sector employees expected the government to take this into consideration when presenting the budget, but again the Maithri/Ranil government had disappointed the people.In an interview with The Sunday Leader he said the JVP together with the trade unions will keep fighting to win the rights of the working class.

Following are excerpts of the interview:-

Q: There are allegations by the people that the national government is in disarray. What is your view?

A: First I must tell you that this is certainly not a good governance regime. The people were unhappy with this government the day they decided to take in all the corrupt members and ministers from the previous regime. These corrupt persons were given ministerial portfolios without any credible basis. The first major protest came from the people themselves. The very people who supported and voted for the good governance regime are the ones who are most vocal about their actions. Even the Venerable Sobitha Thera was critical of them having been one of the main people who helped bring this regime to power.

Now this government says that we should forget the past and focus on the future. This is nothing but a ploy to safeguard all the rogues who were involved in robbing and squandering public funds during the past regime.  They should have said this before the election, not now after the elections are over. Had they done that before the election they know that the people would not have voted for them. Prior to the election they sang an entirely different song, charging that the Rajapaksa regime was protecting rogues and thugs and that they had no regard for the people or the rule of law. Today Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed this band of rogues and thugs to solve the issues of the people.  He has forgotten the people who voted for him and is now only intent on pleasing this band of thieves and not the people who voted for him.

 

Q: Although you are saying this now, didn’t the JVP urge the people to vote for this government?

A: When all the atrocities were being done during the Rajapaksa regime and even journalists were being targeted, only the JVP had the back bone to stand up and confront them and stand up against Mahinada and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. It was after that the rest of them followed and joined the campaign that brought down the Rajapaksa regime. But we knew even then that although we gave leadership to that battle that brought down the corrupt regime, we would never be elected by the people. It was inevitable that another similar party would take the place of the previous regime, but our fight is yet far from over. We are in a transitional stage at the moment and we need to go further to reach our goal.

 

Q: Does that mean that the good governance regime is better than the previous Rajapaksa regime?

A:  When there is a transition from one regime to another there is some respite for the people and they enjoy a certain level of freedom. However there is trouble brewing between Ranil and Maithripala as well.  Maithripala is of the view that by 2020 a SLFP led government should be established. However our opinion is that this regime is no solution or alternative to the previous regime.

 

Q:There are allegations that the JVP obtained funds for election campaigning from businessmen such as Dammika Perera, Ravi Wijeratne and other prominent businessmen in the country, is this true?

A: There are many ways that we obtain funds but we are a voluntary organisation and we are not a profit making entity. It is the public who sponsor our election campaign including the poster campaigns and such. Even the MP’s of our party contribute their personal funds for the activities of the party. The provincial councillors and even the people from the villages who sell old bottles, newspapers and old iron have contributed in some way for the upkeep of the party. Among them there are also some businessmen who have given us donations for the activities of the party having understood our intentions.

 

Q:I am not referring to the general business community or the public who support the JVP but I am specifically asking you if the above mentioned businessmen had some personal dealings with the party?

A: Anyone can contribute to our cause but the JVP cannot be bought for money. If anyone is helping us expecting to buy us over, I must state that it will never happen.

 

Q:The JVP has been talking so much about rogues, but if you know who they are why aren’t you naming them?

A: With the information we have at the moment we can name some of them. But we need to get more information and prove these allegations in parliament and then we can publicly reveal the names of them. It needs more time.

 

Q:How much more time is required for you to reveal these names?

A:We have to take measures according to how the government acts. It is a fact that the high ranking government officials and even the CID know who killed Thadjudeen, but the required legal procedures have to be carried out to prove the case legally before the culprits can be prosecuted.  This is one of the obstacles we have. Even though we know certain cases and know who did it, we simply cannot go around naming people and taking the law into our own hands. There is a legal process that needs to be followed. The government is trying to safeguard the wrong doers but our job is to make sure these investigations and the legal process is carried out and gives it the necessary push when it gets stuck in places. In our view it’s not the person who pulled the trigger that matters most but the person who gave the orders to kill is what we should pursue.

 

Q:What are the actions  the JVP is pursuing demanding for the Rs. 10,000 increment be added onto the basic salary of state sector employees?

A:To address this issue we have to go back to 2006. In 2006 the Rajapaksa regime brought the 6/2006 budget proposal circular. According to that all allowances of the state sector employees was added onto the basic salary. The unions also fought for the rights of the workers and as a result these allowances were given to the employees as percentage form.  This Rs. 10,000 is made up of earlier promised amounts of Rs. 3000, 5000 and 2000. To this 10,000 an earlier promised 1000 increment should also be added and a further promised 7800. When all this is added on it amounts to Rs. 17,800 plus the 20%. We are only asking that all these allowances that were paid be added onto the basic salary, not that we are asking for a salary increment of Rs. 10,000.

Q: While you are saying this, some health sector unions are asking that only the 20% be added onto the basic salary and the 7800 allowances need not be added onto the basic salary. What is this disparity?

A: The whole problem is that currently the salary disparity ratio between the lowest paid and the highest paid public servant is 1:4. However when the 17,800 plus the 20% is added onto the basic salary, then this disparity ratio will reduce and the high ranking public servants are not happy with this situation.

 

Q:  Are you saying that this budget has not offered any solutions to the issues of the state sector employees?

A:  Yes, they have certainly not been considered and their demands are not met. Similar to the Rajapaksa regime this regime too has ignored the grievances of the common man.

 

Q:  What is the issue of pensions being revised from January next year?

A:  What this government is planning on doing is scrapping the pension scheme for the state sector employees who join the state sector from January. The people who join the state service are most often the children or relatives of the existing 15 lakhs state sector workforce.

However what the government is saying is that the existing employees pensions are secured, therefore they should remain silent as only the new recruits pensions will be docked.  If they agree to this I should ask if they have grown horns and tails. However we will continue to fight against this move. This budget has seen the 20% direct taxations being reduced and indirect taxes increased to 80%. This government has not given any concessions to the people but palmed the whole burden onto them. This means that the people will be the ones paying for everything including the water electricity food etc.

 

Q:  What is your view on the decision to grant an allowance for fertiliser and the school uniform voucher instead of the material?

A:  This will not benefit the farmers not the school children. Although the price of fertiliser and material will increase, the amount given by the government is fixed and will not increase accordingly. This is another way of cheating the people and playing them out.

 

Q: With the LG elections scheduled for March next year, is your party prepared for it?

A: Now this government has brought a new election system and they have passed it in parliament. There can’t be several electoral systems in the country and only one system should be adopted. There are also many discrepancies in the new election system. However as far as we are concerned no new preparations are required and we will continue to serve the people as we have always done.

 

Q:  What is the JVP’s stance on Kumar Gunaratnam’s political rights?

A: Kumar Gunaratnam is facing certain legal issues and these issues should be resolved according to local and international laws and he should be allowed to live freely in this country without any problem. We are of the view that this government should create a climate where he does not have to hide and engage in political activities and would have the freedom to engage in politics openly without any issues.

 

 

4 Comments for “JVP Cannot Be Bought For Money – K.D. Lalkantha”

  1. This stupid man still talking rubbish he is trying to show off his union is strong
    this man is repeating the same words when MR was in power

    he is a SHITHOUSE not big enough to be a tough guy

  2. daggy

    Hello Lal !!!
    You N the JVP appear to be standing between the Devil and the deep Blue sea.

    Here you point out that corrupt PA people being absorbed into the Yahapalanaya Government.
    “What you do not point out is that the JVP appointing loosers into Parliament from their ranks following the Yahapalanaya.
    Is the Yahapalanaya leading the JVP?
    Why don’t Lal Kantha focus on their “Rathu Ali Patiya” Anura Kumara? The speeches he makes to analyse on which side of the fence he is on and whether any $$ are stuck in his throat?
    Shobitha died a troubled person. Why not investigate his death as at the time he was in a state of agitation over Yahapalanaya rule?

    Yes. The JVP can not be bought for Money BUT they certainly show signs of swallowing $$$$…………
    Public are not stupid Lal. You get back to where you came from the NCP. But I believe you can not even go there as the Voters there even booted you out.

    You JVP’ers are just lame critics for the sake of criticising.
    Why don’t you you guys volunteer to take on a Ministerial appointment and show what you can do.
    Do not distract people with Thajudeen talk. remember what happened to the JVP at the general elections?
    So Rathy Ali Patiya’s child can attend an International school? Why not Royal or Ananda???? Not good enough.

    Oi !! Kathawa nam payin namuth yanne Dolawen.
    JVP politics are good for the Local Govt & PC levels at best and your place in not in parliament.

  3. K. Arume

    JVP Cannot Be Bought For Money. But JVPers can be.

  4. Ashad Dole

    The JVP is a spent force now and should not be taken notice of. After nearly 50 years of politics, they have been able to only muster 500,000 votes. They should be ashamed of themselves.
    The same goes for Fld Mar Sarath Fonseka, just because he polled over 4.5 Million votes in 2010, he thought that he was the “New kid on the Block”. He was able to muster only 28,000 votes this time around.
    This should be a good lesson to MY3 too, as long as he has the UNP, on his side he would have his tail up, but the moment the UNP, loses interest in him, the time will come for him to go too.

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