We should not prohibit Demonstrations but charge for the national losses
Posted on March 2nd, 2017
Dr Sarath Obeysekera
Yesterday I was passing by the road way in front of President’s office and noted some union members of Tamil community holding demonstrations. By 12 noon I was going back and police was trying control another group of people holding placards protesting about something else . Doctors and some medical staff were demonstrating in front Gampaha railway station inconveniencing the public.
We see that it is daily occurrence in our life
We also heard that under the principles of Yahaplanaya ,government is planning to allocate certain designated areas for Demo’s in order to minimize the inconvenience to the public .We all know that there is massive loss to the country because of loss of man hours of working people and over consumption of fuel due to traffic jams caused by road blocks .
There is a solution to avoid or minimize the losses if we carry out following
Government should do a simple calculation of 500-1000 vehicles which burn fuel ( i,e 10 litres per vehicle for 2 hours costing 1500 Rs per vehicle and for 1000 vehicles cost will be Rs 1,500,000 ) .Loss of productive man-hours ( i.e 3000 people at Rs 200 per manhour costing Rs 400×3000 = Rs 1,200.000 )
Total loss is minimum Rs 2,700,000 /= without considering the cost of police force and water used for cannons !) .You may add another 2,300,000 Rs for maintaining law order including filing action against violators of public peace)
Total cost of one single demonstration for two hours will be 5 million Rs and if one carry on demo for 10 hours in will cost 50 million Rs to the country .
My golden suggestion is allow registered unions or political parties to hold demos other than in designated areas and impose a charge of 5 million Rs for two hours –say in Lipton Circle or Lotus round about .This amount should be paid to National Development fund.Total contribution to the national development fund for a month will exceed one billion Rupees. ( unions and parties can hold demo’s free during weekends !)
Unions may have to increase membership fees for members including party members to cover the payment charges for holding demo’s !!
I am sure this action by the government will be praised by IMF and World Bank .ADB ,OECF .JAICA etc rather than increasing taxes and price of essential goods .
Dr Sarath Obeysekera