With the revised electricity tariffs which came into effect on
1.1.2011 the FAC of 30% imposed on consumers who consumed more than 90
units per month was removed. Nevertheless there was an increase in the
unit charge in respect of domestic consumers who consumed between 90 to
180 units and also the fixed charge as shown in the table below. It will
be observed from this table that the fixed charge was reduced in the
case of those who consume less than 90 units.
Category – domestic
In the case of domestic consumer between 90 to 180 units, among them
there may be middle class householders in urban areas who use utility
items such as a refrigerator, fan, an iron and the FAC now imposed will
have a far reaching impact on their cost of living. They are now not
considered as luxury items.
In the circumstances, I wish to request the President who is also the
Finance Minister and also the Power and Energy Minister and the Public
Utilities Commission to consider fixing the FAC at 30% as prevailed
earlier in respect of domestic consumers who consume above 30 units and
in the case of those who consume more than 180 units imposition of FAC
at 40% may be considered, if necessary.
It is a matter for concern that the PUC did not call for the views of
consumers before the imposition of the FAC.
I refer to the newspaper article appearing in the 'Daily News' of
13th March on the subject of ensuring road discipline.
Whilst appreciating the point system for traffic offences, it appears
that you have missed out a few major traffic offences committed mostly
by motor cyclists and three wheeler drivers, namely, that within or
between marked traffic lanes, both motor cyclists and three wheeler
drivers attempt to ‘creep through’ running parallel to or across the
lanes, causing inconvenience to other motorists.
Very often despite the presence of traffic police it is customary to
see this type of non-observance of traffic rules, where each vehicle is
expected to follow in a single file in the demarcated traffic lanes.
Unfortunately traffic officers do not pull-up or book offending riders
or drivers. Perhaps it may be due to the large numbers of such offenders
and their traffic offence book being insufficient to accommodate.
At times even private bus drivers zig-zag across marked traffic lanes
without any signals. The drivers of tippers which have seen an increase
on the roads recently, use their ‘height’ and ‘weight’ to intimidate
on-coming or parallel traffic by cutting in to their path. This type of
highway thuggery must be stopped. To illustrate this point I attach a
recent photograph taken by me and trust it would be of use to eliminate
What has happened has now happened. Well, why did this happen?
President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not do anything wrong. He only removed
the activities of the terrorists who massacred innocent people by the
hundreds and further made many disabled, while the rest living in this
island of ours was forced to live in constant fear.
Sri Lanka and also India paid the highest cost for terrorism when Sri
Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv
Gandhi met with their unfortunate deaths in the yester years.
Besides, the friendship maintained by the rulers of these two
countries go back to the era of one of the greatest rulers of India;
King Asoka who had the good faith to send his son and also his daughter,
Arahath Mahinda and Therani Sangamittha with the message of Buddhism to
the then ruler of Sri Lanka, King Devanam Piyatissa.
Similarly, in the distant past the prime minister of these two
countries such as Jawaharlal Nehru with Sir John Kotalawala, S. W. R. D.
Bandaranaike and Sirimavo Bandaranaike and thereafter Indira Gandhi with
Sirimavo Bandaranaike and J. R. Jayewardene did continue these
tremendous ties continuously and faithfully.
That was why President J. R. Jayewardene went to the extent of
signing an agreement with the then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to
put an end to the crucial war during his rule though it was not that
successful. In one of the SAARC summits held in India, President J .R.
Jayewardene said during his address: “Every bullet, whether it is a
terrorist bullet or a bullet from my security services kills a person.
This goes deep into my heart and I do not know how to stop it”. Also
when concluding the address he said “I am a lover of India. I am a
friend of its leader and friend of its people, and I am a follower of
its greatest son the Gouthama Buddha”.
That was the highest mentality that had been maintained all
throughout between these two countries. Why has this been deviated from
this time in Geneva?
Employees of the Water Board and the Electricity Board demanded for
salary increases. Their trade unions first launched picketing campaigns
simultaneously threatening strike action if their demands were not met
before their deadline. To appease them the government granted salary
increases almost matching their demands. So much for trade union action!
To make up the additional expenditure on salaries, the Electricity
Board thereafter introduced Additional Fuel Charges which is an
additional burden on consumers.
The purpose of this letter is to highlight the plight of Samurdhi
Beneficiaries. For years now they receive only a paltry sum with which
they cannot meet the skyrocketed cost of living. Worse is the situation
that they cannot even have their voices heard as they have no trade