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

4 Responses to “We should not prohibit Demonstrations but charge for the national losses ”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Too much job security for people.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Lets do it the right way like the former colonials who run UK now.
    Let there be a dedicated police station be appointed in a province with a personals equipped with commercial, religious and with a lot of common-sense.
    People who demonstrate at station must apply for a permit to demonstrate’
    There are sensible conditions attached to like the day of the demonstration, that should not clash with another preplanned event.
    Must.in case in SL must not use loud speakers when they go by any place of worship or school, court house and even a hospital in progress.
    Must leave room for smooth traffic flow with the organiser’s own stewards helping the police.
    No rival demonstrations be allowed.
    If a foreign VIP is conducting and event it is courteous not to disturb with a obstructive and noisy demonstration and the numbers must be strictly limited.
    Offensive cutouts and slogans has to be taken down as requested the police officer in charge at the site.
    Any criminal offences get out of hand then for the safety of the public and property the trouble makers must be cattle and separated, depending on the severity situation the demonstration must be halted and the police and the stewards must orderly escort the demonstrators out of the area ie disperse them.
    In sri lanka the rival politicians might throw a spanner to sabotage the peaceful event which is an offence in civilized countries like UK but I doubt that SL could ever achieve those standards, not until the colonial types come to rule us.
    Depending on the circumstances there should be a allocated time restriction which should be agreed prior to the demonstration.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    How will poor people baffled such a “Demonstration Tax”?

    Rich people who can afford to pay the tax rarely join such demonstrations; they are too busy enjoying their gilded lives!

    Isn’t it interesting how a Yahapalanaya that grabbed power protesting restrictions on the freedom of expression are now trying to suppress such expression now that they are in the saddle?

    It seems that:
    A democrat is merely a dictator out of power!
    A dictator is merely a democrat in power!

    It is merely a question of whose OX is being GORED!

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Oops! Meant to say “bear”, not “baffled”!

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