Sri Lanka state workers made ‘lakshapathi’; broadband, houses for all: ex-President Rajapaksa
ECONOMYEXT – A future United People’s Freedom Alliance will double the basic wage of state workers to 25,000 rupees, give a 3,000 rupee increment to private workers, broadband to every house and a house for everyone, ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
The basic wage is now around 11,000 rupees, he said. The cost of living and other allowances will be added to 25,000 rupees, he said.
"This will make state workers lakshapathi’s (owners of crores)," ex-President Rajapaksa told a meeting in Colombo launching the opposition manifesto ‘A Guarantee for the Future’.
He said state workers, military and police will be looked after.
Workers in the private sector will be given a 3,000 rupee increment, he said.
All houses will be given broadband facilities which will allow young people to enter the online market place, he said.
He promised a house for all citizens.
"Building a house is a dream for a middle class family," he said.
The last administration had come under fire for keeping basic building materials including steel, toilet fittings excessively high to favour politically connected businesses and economic nationalism.
Rajapaksa saida massive infrastructure program carried out by him, was benefitting everyone, including people in remote villages.
People in Sri Lanka can live without fear and even rival party representatives can travel to the ends of the country quickly due to the work carried out in his time, he said.
"Today even the United National Party representative can go to Hambantota in the morning and come back to Colombo for discussions in the same day," he said.
Rajapaksa said he returned to politics after the defeat in January due to the appeals of people and leaders of the United People’s Freedom Alliance, public rallies and people who came to his house.
He said people from the North said the Army was being withdrawn and women feared to travel alone on the roads and crime was rising.
Ex-President Rajapaksa said he will make Colombo cleaner and ensure good prices for rice farmers, rubber and tea farmers.
He said all youngsters reaching 18 will be given 50,000 rupees. To develop human resources education will be boosted.
"What is the assurance that the administration who put their hands into the Central Bank will not put their hands into free education?" he said, referring to a scam in the bond markets involving a firm connected to Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor.
Speakers stressed the importance of a multi-cultural and multi-religions nation and priests from all religions spoke at the manifesto launch.
Rajapaksa was ousted partly due to excessive nationalism directed against minorities.
He said destroyed Islamic mosques will be re-built, echoing some of the proposals in his rival’s United National Party manifesto.
He said independence of the judiciary will be assured.