After President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement of electricity tariff reductions, the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said their concerted efforts against the tariff hike had eventually borne fruit.
UNP National List MP Harsha de Silva said the government had eventually given in to what he called the ‘well-articulated, fact based, logical ‘arguments against the tariff increase.
“This is yet another example of the effectiveness of the UNP as the main Opposition party to force the government to reverse a decision taken arrogantly. Those who criticised the UNP have to admit what we said was correct,” he said.
The Opposition parties, including the UNP and JVP, conducted series of protest rallies throughout the country against the tariff increase. The parties staged protests with lighted candles and burning torches against the price hike. Yesterday’s May Day rallies of the two parties featured various actions to protest the price hike. The UNP, in its May Day rally in Badulla, performed street dramas., There were also party supporters miming Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to ridicule her.
In his May Day address, JVP general secretary Tilvin Silva said the protests against the increase of the electricity tariff had made the government retreat.
“We of the Opposition have managed shake this so called powerful government and proved that those who say that nothing would stop the ruling party were wrong,” he said.
He said could be considered a clear victory for the government though it was not clear by how much the tariff would be reduced. “We have proved that powerful protests can defeat the government no matter how powerful it is,” he added (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)