United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday insisted that his party would increase public servants salaries by Rs. 10,000 gradually beginning from an increase of Rs. 3500 with immediate effect.
Asked why the UNP had not increased public servants salaries during the period of 2001 to 2004 April, the Opposition leader said that the cost of living index had been very low at that time, but from 2004 up to 2010 February the cost of living index had increased by 97 per cent. In other words the spiralling cost of living had doubled. He was speaking on the occasion of the release of UNP Party Manifesto at the UNP Headquarters, Sirikotha, yesterday.
Wickremesinghe said that the party manifesto had prioritized human resources as the most important resource in the country because a country s professions, services and the economy would depend on its human resources. During the UPFA s four-year rule, the country had been going from bad to worse because of family bandyism.
He said that if a UNP government came to power, it would also ask the private sector to increase the salaries of employees because the cost of living index had increased exponentially.
SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said that the first thing the UNP government would do after coming to power would be to exonerate General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka without conditions. The UPFA government had become a law unto itself.
In the event of the UNF forming the next government, legislation would be introduced to make it mandatory for the Emergency regulations to be passed with a majority of two-thirds after six months, Hakeem said.
The SLMC leader said that Proportional Representation (PR) system would be reformed to bring the elected closer to the electors.
SLFP (Mahajana Wing) leader Mangala Samaraweera said that after 6 months Sri Lanka would lose the GSP Plus trade concession and the European Unions had sent strong signals to that effect. Samurdhi beneficiaries had been taken for a ride and they had to attend all the ruling party rallies. The UNP had also decided to pay Rs. 500 to each Samurdhi beneficiary and the poverty alleviation programme would be depoliticised, he said.