Trade unionists condemn conspiracies against Govt
Both local and Western anti-social and reactionary elements who
supported the LTTE terrorists, now attempt to destabilise the UPFA
Government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, President, Public Service
Trade Union Federation, W.H. Piyadasa said.
He said that during the last thirty years none of the Presidents of
this country, other than the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa could
stand firmly against terror supremo Prabhakaran. The unpalatable
policies of the JR, Premadasa, Chandrika and Ranil regimes led
Prabhakaran to go in search of his far-fetched dream of Eelam. Ranil
Wickremesinghe without the concurrence of his Cabinet or the then
President Chandrika Kumaratunga signed the Ceasefire Agreement drafted
by Norway and more or less surrendered to Prabhakaran one third of the
country, he said.
“The Ranil-Prabhakaran pact was a result of an international
conspiracy. The ring leaders of that conspiracy are of both local and
foreign origins and are still active in their spheres of influence.
They are the people who work tirelessly against President Mahinda
Rajapaksa and his government. To them, the elimination of Prabhakaran
and his terror group who butchered thousands of innocent children and
civilians including political leaders amounts to violation of human
“They wanted the United Nations to initiate inquiries against
violations of human rights and bring those responsible for war crimes to
book, clearly there is an international conspiracy against President
Mahinda Rajapaksa supported by a set of bankrupt local politicians and
some NGOs”, Piyadasa said.
Seven trade unions funded by NGOs have appealed to the European Union
not to grant GSP Plus facility to Sri Lanka. They have also submitted a
so-called human rights violation report to the European Union. They
should know that from this region, human rights are best safeguarded in
Sri Lanka. The public and corporate sector workforce must understand
that their main responsibility at this juncture is to safeguard the
Government against local and international traitors. Enemies both
internal and external can do nothing against the Government if the
workforce rally round the President. The three-decade long terrorist war
could finally be eliminated within a short span of two and a half years.
Due to the strong leadership of the President and the commitment on the
part of the Defence Secretary, soldiers under their commanders fought
‘tooth and nail’, sacrificing their precious lives. The workforce of
this country should learn a lesson from our patriotic soldiers who laid
down their precious lives in liberating the motherland from the
marauding LTTE terrorists. They should work hard to make the
Government’s development drive a complete success. Sri Lanka has to
follow India, China, Malaysia and Singapore, who have made tremendous
strides in the development of their economies. We, including our
politicians should change our life patterns to suit the country, in
which the majority of the people belong to the poorest of the poor
segment. Why should we follow capitalist life patterns? The time is ripe
to effect the necessary changes and rebuild our nation, he said.
President, Labour Union Federation Somaweera Chandrasiri said that
Sri Lanka could successfully face conspiracies such as the 1958 S.W.R.D.
Bandaranaike assassination, 1962 military coup, and 1977 ULF Government
defeat. Mahinda Rajapaksa was voted to the office of President due to
his long people-and worker-friendly political career. No other leader
has ever rendered such selfless service. That is why the reactionary
elements, both domestic and external, are at work to dethrone him from
the country’s leadership. Today he is not only Sri Lanka’s leader, but a
progressive Asian leader as well, Chandrasiri said.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa annihilated the most ruthless terrorist
outfit in the world within a short span of two and a half years and
heralded a new era, which his predecessors failed to accomplish during
the last 30 years. Now he has accepted the next important challenge of
developing the country. The responsibility of the workforce is to extend
to him their fullest support to achieve his development targets.
“When we have a leader who listens to our grievances and provides
relief, why should we resort to such things as work-to-rule campaigns or
strikes? For example, when trade union leaders, during last Monday’s
meeting, complained about the high bank interest rates, the President
took prompt action to bring down the interest rates in State banks,”
Chandrasiri pointed out.
The employees of State corporations, whose salaries are paid by the
Treasury, have no moral right to demand salary hikes or special
allowances. They must work together and make those corporations
profitable ventures. It is a well-known fact that at present the
financial situation of the Electricity Board, Water Board and Petroleum
Corporation has deteriorated. It was the UNP regime that wanted to
destroy these corporations and hand them over to the private sector at
rock-bottom prices. That was fortunately reversed by the Mahinda
Rajapaksa Government, he said.
The paramount duty of the employees as well as the trade unions is to
back the policies of the Government to the hilt and condemns outright
attempts at internal and external conspiracies.
Sri Lanka which has all the resources to reach self-sufficiency is
now on the right path under the far-sighted leadership of President
Mahinda Rajapaksa. The country should unite forgetting petty
differences, to achieve the national targets and become a prosperous
country, he said.
The sole responsibility of the trade unions is to work for the
betterment of the working class. Seven trade unions which are funded by
NGOs including a UNP trade union have requested the US Government to
stop assistance to Sri Lanka that will directly result in our workers
losing their jobs, said President, SLFP Trade Union Federation, Leslie
Devendra. “These trade unions had sent a report to the US Government
through the American Federation of Labour-AFLCIO, requesting that
assistance to Sri Lanka be stopped. Later, the US authorities held an
inquiry into the alleged violation of basic labour rights in Sri Lanka
and found the allegations to be devoid of truth. No doubt, there is a
conspiracy by certain local and foreign elements against the Government
led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
It is inhuman to carry out a campaign demanding the abolition of the
GSP Plus facility to Sri Lanka which threatens the job security of seven
hundred thousand local garment factory workers, he said.
In history, no other president has listened to the working class
grievances as President Rajapaksa.
The President meets the trade unions very often. He invites not only
the Government affiliated trade union leaders, but other leading union
leaders as well to those meetings such as the one held last Monday at
Temple Trees. He pays prompt attention to all trade union grievances
unlike his predecessors, since he is much closer to the working class.
Last January, the President assured the working class that in the
ensuing year salaries would be increased. His desire was to pay arrears
with the salary hike. Anti-government trade unions of essential services
such as Electricity, Ports and Petroleum are trying to create trouble,
disturbing the peaceful atmosphere restored in the country by the
President after eradicating the 30-year-old LTTE terrorism.
Presidential and parliamentary elections are round the corner. The
trouble makers under the influence of bankrupt and power hungry
politicians aim at creating artificial shortages of goods and services
to embarrass the Government.
The same strategy was adopted by J.R. Jayewardene in 1977 to grab
power from the coalition government led by Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
The working class must support the President’s efforts to develop the
country. The leader who liberated the country from the LTTE is strong
enough to achieve his development goals.
Discipline is essential for development; Malaysia, Singapore and
China achieved self-sufficiency through good governance and discipline.
It is time for the working class as well as the political leaders to
change their mindset and be disciplined in the interest of the country,