Bandula said this is Most widespread opposition to taxes in Sri Lanka’s history

The most widespread opposition to taxes in Sri Lanka’s history, by consumers and businessmen on the same stance, was witnessed in the past couple of weeks, former minister Bandula Gunawardena said.

He stated that previously shops were closed down in Pettah, Sri Lanka’s main and longstanding trading hub for wholesalers and retailers, only during the riots of July 1983.

“This is the first time in history that Pettah was closed due to VAT since the riots of July 1983,” he told reporters in Colombo today (19).

The UPFA MP said that certain prominent figures in the government had claimed the opposition was created by traders who are avoiding taxes and

He stated that businessmen don’t easily join protests, unless they are burdened to the extent that they cannot bear it and no matter what political party tells them to do or not to.

The Government is eyeing to increase the prices of fuel instead of tax increase, National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa said. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (18). “While amending the bill on VAT, there is a move to increase the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs.10 each, according to sources” Weerawansa charged. He also accused the present Government of supporting Tamil extremism. “But, the previous Government backed the Tamil community, not extremism,” said Weerawansa. The NFF leader also went on to say that there will be a job crisis in Sri Lanka if the proposed economic pact is signed with India as scheduled next month.