News

Call for women to stand up against Government

  • Women’s rights group slams broken promises on econ/social issues

By Buddhika Samaraweera

Claiming that the present Government has broken all the promises it made to women before coming to power, such as solving the economic and social issues faced by women, the Women for Rights organisation affiliated to the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led National People’s Power (NPP) has called on the women in the country to stand up against the Government’s programmes through which the people including women have been rendered helpless.

Addressing a media briefing held yesterday (14), the Organisation Secretary Samanmalee Gunasinghe charged that the present Government had broken all its promises that it made to women before coming to power.

Noting that the Government has obtained a two-thirds majority in the Parliament and many more powers through the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and the Emergency Regulations, Gunasinghe claimed, however, that women’s issues have not been resolved yet.

“It is also clear from the conduct of the Government that they are not even capable of solving an issue in a small village, let alone building the country. Recently, there were queues for vaccinations and there were queues to get relief like the Samurdhi subsidy. By now, in addition to those queues, there are those to buy sugar, gas, milk powder, rice, and many other essential items,” she said, and added that women, especially those in rural areas, have become helpless due to this situation.

Further, claiming that gas prices have risen by about 84%, she lamented that women living in homes with backyards limited to a few perches cannot even afford to find firewood. “How is one to buy a gas cylinder after an 84% increase in gas prices? There is a new queue of women looking for kerosene stoves. The lowest priced kerosene stove was at Rs. 500, and by now it has been increased to Rs. 950. The kerosene stove which was Rs. 1,500 is now Rs. 4,500.”

Following a special Cabinet of Ministers meeting held on 7 October with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Government decided to remove the price controls on cement, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), milk powder, and wheat flour.

Accordingly, Litro Gas Lanka Ltd., the largest importer and supplier of LPG in Sri Lanka, announced the revised prices of its LPG cylinders: a 12.5 kg domestic LPG cylinder is Rs. 2,675 while the price of a five kg LPG cylinder is Rs. 1,071 and the price of a 2.5 kg LPG cylinder is Rs. 506.

Meanwhile, the second leading importer and supplier of LPG in the country, Laugfs Gas PLC, also increased the prices of its LPG cylinders. Accordingly, the price of a 12.5 kg domestic LPG cylinder is Rs. 2,840 and the price of a five kg LPG cylinder is Rs. 1,136.