Sri Lankan opposition to protest against new tax

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Colombo, May 11 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s opposition People’s Liberation Front said on Wednesday that it has decided to stage mass protests against a new Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced by the government.

Party leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told reporters that the protests will be staged in Colombo while public awareness campaigns will also be staged.

The People’s Liberation Front, which backed President Maithripala Sirisena at the presidential election last year, said the VAT was a burden on the public.

The new 15-percent VAT was in place from this month but the government insisted that several items would be exempted.

The tax was increased from 11 percent to 15 percent and among the items exempted are petrol, diesel and aviation fuel as well as wheat, rice, milk powder, mobile phones and healthcare services and education.

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However water, telephone charges and other key items have been included in the new VAT, which have resulted in strong outcry in the country.



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