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Tissa Vitarana critical of budget in LSSP’s 86 the anniversary statement



Says its focused on small section of capitalist class

Little support for small traders and SMEs

No program for overall development of agriculture sector

Expolitation of farmers continues without any govt. support

Opposition to Yugadanavi deal welcomed


The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), which was formed on the December 18, 1935, celebrates its 86th Anniversary on December 17 at party headquarters. The theme is “development towards elimination of poverty and for social justice” party leader Tissa Vitarana said in a news release critical of the budget 2022..

“There must be a well thought out plan to face and overcome the economic crisis, as well as the health problems, Covid-19 and hunger. While supporting the proposal to have a development oriented budget, it would appear to be one that is focused to a small section of the capitalist class but did not cover the overall economy.

“For instance there was little support for the small traders and the SME’s. It was disappointing to note that there was no programme for overall development of the agricultural sector. This includes ensuring the production and supply of adequate fertilizer.

“The exploitation of the farmer continues without any Government support through purchasing and marketing provisions like the marketing department. The high prices of foods are mainly due to exploitation by mill owners and traders. Strengthening of the producer and consumer cooperatives would eliminate the profiteering by middlemen.”

But he qualified: “Besides self-sufficiency in food, the decision by Government to promote local value added industry is welcome. The foundation laid by the Ministry of Science and Technology to do this through the Vidatha movement at the SME level and SLINTEC and SLIBTEC at the hi-tech level need to be further intensified. Sri Lanka must become an industrialized country. “

He urged that the threat from American led imperialism continues and must be opposed. It is focused on getting control of our economy through the MCC agreement and to establish a military base on the basis of the SOFA agreement.

“The resounding defeat of the UNP and its allies by the people at the last general election with the victory of the SLPP, prevented the signing of these two dangerous agreements. But these efforts of the USA are continuing, and the people led by the progressive forces in the Government and outside must counter all such efforts,” he said.

“The resistance to the 40% share in the Yugadanavi project being given away, with its danger of the USA controlling our power generation is welcome. Sri Lanka must stick to the principle that national assets should nor be sold to foreigners, and the drive for self-sufficiency must be intensified.

“The LSSP urges all progressive and nationalist forces to intensify the struggle against these moves by the USA and its allies, both foreign and local. However this should not prevent us from getting help from friendly countries like India, China and Cuba which are not imperialist and are focused on increasing trade for mutual benefit. But we welcome genuine help from all countries, even the USA.”

The statement continued:

“The problem of poverty continues, with 60% of families in Sri Lanka living below the poverty line. The problems of unemployment and under employment continue seriously affecting their incomes and purchasing power even of essentials. Along with rising high prices and with no effort on the part of the Government to reduce this by strengthening the Cooperative movement, both wholesale and retail, the people live in hunger with some having only one meal a day.

“The malnutrition level has increased to 18%, which means that one of five children are ill, and the others are also affected to some extent. This has an adverse effect on their growth not only of the body but also of the mind. If this continues the future generation will tend to be stunted, thin and with lower mental capacity.

“In my opinion the Government should give priority to the provision of adequate food and other essentials to all citizens. The development effort (highways etc.), can be delayed. The Government must make a proper assessment of those living in hunger and the supply of free dry rations weekly should be instituted.

“It is good that the drive to control the Covid-19 pandemic, where the Government has actively intervened by its immunization programme is welcome, though we have some reservations about the safety of the Pfizer and other mRNA vaccines. The onus is now on the people to comply with the preventive health regulations (wearing of masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing with soap and water and avoiding crowds). Where this is not being observed the Government needs to enforce it, setting up specialized covid control committees where necessary.

“Thus the LSSP is continuing its anti-imperialist and anti-big capitalist policies to solve the problems of the people. It is necessary to go in a socialist directions by strengthening state participation in the agricultural, industrial and marketing sectors of the economy. In addition the move towards a ‘Solidarity Economy’ should be intensified. All loss making institutions both public and private, should be run on solidarity principles.

“This means that they should be functions as companies (e.g. 30 years lease where Government land is used), which are owned solely by the employees of that institutions. This will not only give them a sense of ownership leading to greater commitment to improve the performance of the institutions, but also ensure that they get an equal share of the profit.

“The Workers Administrative Council will select professional management and technical personnel purely on merit. This proposal is no ideal dream. It is being practiced in several countries abroad, even in Europe. For instance in Kerala state, India where TATA’s claimed that they were running the tea estates (63,000 hectares) at a loss, the left Government took the land back and ran them on the solidarity principle. “

Not only have they become large profit making concerns but also generated a greater enthusiasm among the workers who have got a share of the profit in addition to their regular salary. All stealing and misconduct has ended as they have a sense of ownership. The LSSP demands that this policy be implemented not only in the plantation sector but in all public and private institutions, specially where they are running at a loss. This would increase productivity and also help in the transition to socialism.”

Vitarana continued: “It was the LSSP that led the independence struggle against imperialism and poverty in Sri Lanka from 1935. It built up a strong trade union movement to win the worker’s rights. It led the struggle against poverty by establishing a social welfare state. The leadership were given by Dr.N.M.Perera, Dr.Covin Silva, Leslie Goonewardene, Bernard Soysa and others. “

This struggle must continue on the lines mentioned above for the development of the country in the interest of its entire people, irrespective of community differences, as one united Sri Lankan nation. The struggle in and out of jail for independence and people’s rights that our founder leaders started must be continued in the direction of Socialism.”

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President outlines a bold vision for Sri Lanka tourism at THASL’s 58th AGM




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The President acknowledged the need to move beyond the existing framework and embrace competition to elevate Sri Lanka’s standing in the global tourism market. Drawing parallels with countries like Vietnam, he questioned why they had more tourists despite being in the industry for a shorter period. President Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of increasing the number of tourists to 2.5 million in the upcoming year and subsequently expanding on this figure.


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Free visas for nationals of China, India, Indonesia, Russsia, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan from Monday (27)




The Controller General of Immigration and Emigration has stated that nationals of China, India, Indonesia, Russsia, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan will be granted free visas from Monday 27-11-2023 to 31-03-2024 as a pilot program to rebuild the tourism industry.

Nationals of the above nominated countries possessing, Diplomatic, Official, Public Affairs, Services and Ordinary Passports are eligible to enjoy a visa free regime under this scheme.

The above mentioned nationals should apply for Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before arriving in Sri Lanka subject to granting / issuing free of charge up to 31-03-2024.

Under this scheme tourists can enjoy a 30 days free visa period and a double entry facility is permitted within 30 days from the date of first arrival in Sri Lanka.

Free ETA under this scheme can be applied up to 31-03-2024.

The free ETA cannot be extended further and is limited only to thirty (30) days. In case the free ETA period of 30 days expires after 31-03-2024, an extension of visa could be applied subject to paying the appropriate fee.

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Cabinet gives green light for Colombo Port City Order No. 3 of 2023 to be presented in Parliament




The President in his capacity as the Minister of Investment Promotion has published the Colombo Port City Orders No. 3 of 2023 (Enterprises with Strategic Value – Guidelines for releasing or encouraging to award for customs – free enterprises) under the provisions of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act No. 11 of 2021 by the extraordinary gazette notification No. 2355/30 dated 25.10.2023.

The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal furnished by the Hon. President in his capacity as the Minister of Investment Promotions to submit the said orders to the Parliament for its concurrence.



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