Strike not acceptable – PM
The CPC trade union strike is not acceptable when a number of discussion rounds with unions had ended successfully, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament yesterday.
He said the strike disrupts the dengue prevention programmes, disrupts the economy and the examinations that are scheduled to begin soon. The government has decided to make fuel provision an essential service, the PM said.
Making a ministerial statement in Parliament on the gazette notification making petroleum fuel distribution an essential service,the Prime Minister said the gazette notification on making petroleum distribution an essential service was issued on Tuesday evening.
“We decided to make a statement in Parliament on the policy of the government as we always stand to protect parliamentary tradition and democracy,” the PM said.
He said that this was not practiced during the previous regime which went even to the extent of not revealing financial matters to Parliament. “During the Rajapaksa regime, Parliament had become a mere rubber seal. After President Maithripala Sirisena was elected President democracy was established in the country,” the Premier said.
“The people’s right to life and expression was guaranteed.However it was observed that this freedom was utilized by several to achieve their petty political ends.”
The Premier said there was no issue with the trade unions struggling to win their rights. If someone attempted to lead the country into anarchy the government will have to act responsibly, he said.
“Our government never refused to discuss with trade unions.Our ministers had discussed with them on several occasions.I had discussions with them on April 24 and July 13”.
He said that they discussed on the matters of Trincomalee and Hambantota Oil Tank farms and the matter of renovation of the Sapugaskanda refinery. He said that government and the trade unions came to an agreement on two matters.He added that the other being matter on Trincomalee oil tank farm the trade unions needed to consult their representatives. He added that there were cases before court on lease agreements on the Trincomalee oil tanks and following the judgments, the matter can be discussed.”We have instructed the trade unions to hand over their proposals on the Sapugaskanda refinery and then they could be considered,he said. “The Hambantota Oil Tanks belong to the Ports Authority. It was given by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.Then nobody spoke on it,” the Premier said. “We have directed the trade union requests to the Ministry. I also assured them that the government’s actions will not cause any harm to the CPC. It is pathetic that CPC trade unions resumed a trade union action in such a situation.”
“If the fuel distribution is disrupted the smooth function of all activities come an end including the transport and health,” Premier said. “It also disrupts the flight arrival and departure and activities at the Port and in turn the strike also affects examinations scheduled to be held in near future.”
The Premier also said that by noon yesterday (Wednesday) everything returned to normal. “The fuel bowsers are being sent out of the CPC refinery.The aeroplane fuel tanks are being sent to Katunayake too,” the Premier said. “We hold the democratic principles in esteem.We respect the rule of law. But we don’t bow down to those forces that are bent on destabilising the country,”he said.
(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen Marasinghe and Disna Mudalige)
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Yes, from PM RWs views strike is not acceptable. Like manner, physically harming unarmed workers resorted to industrial action through thugs too is not acceptable. This is the same government who championed Human Rights in Geneva. Beating striking workers using weapons while police were present is a disgrace to Yahapalanaya Government who promised good governance 2 years ago. Well documented Photos of beating unarmed workers gone viral in social media. What I can not is why the Western Embassies based in Colombo, Int Community, NGOs, HR protecting agencies such as Asia Watch, AI are silent on this matter.
Stopping work for which you are paid for, is a crime in any circumstances.
Striking is an old fashioned way of exerting authority and power.
The labour force in Sri Lanka is well cared-for by the laws of the land. There are minimum wage conditions, minimum terms and conditions of employment and other measures such as compulsory EPF contributions guaranteed to the workforce in SL’s statute.
Strike action belongs a previous and outdated age. The current theme in employment sectors should be customer service and customer satisfaction.
Unfortunately, leadership in the areas of Government, Public Sector Organisations, Trade Unions etc in Sri Lanka is dominated by the outdated oldies. Most leaders, in all areas, have one leg in the workplace and other in their graves.
It is time for the youth to be decisive in taking over leadership of our nation. The oldies should gracefully retire.
The workers, I understand, were assaulted by thugs engaged by some unknown force.
The Police should investigate where the assailants came from.
Unfortunately, our Police Force and the IGP are a big farce.
They are clowns in the circus known as ‘GOSL’.
Mr Amarakoon . Don’t take this guy seriously. Just ignore him.
Yes Bro Ranjith. I can’t figure out why this guy barking for? Is he batting for YP Govt. or India? Or both. The fact Mr. UN Ponnambalam need to understand is the workers didn’t strike for veges or better working conditions. In fact they are striking to stop selling our ‘Silver’ to India. In my opinion present government in SL lost its grip to govern. Doctors Striked now Petroleum workers strike. Is Mr. UN Ponnambalam justifying using thugs? Before long there will be more strikes and authorities will run out of thugs. One should understand when people are in a desperate situation they act desperately.
Yes these guys are selling our silver to India, gold to China, all our good quality fish and tea etc to Europe, selling our folks to do menial (like modern day slaves) jobs in Malaysia. South Korea and Middle east . After all that they have the nerve to tell people that the country is safe and progressing with them. Travel in a bus or a train and see how backward we are. How people suffer commuting to work even although 95% over employed.
in a totalitarian system not onl strikes are condoned but the very existence of trade unions are subjected to question. However in democracies when governments fail to address issues that are pertinent to trades then there is no other mechanism through which issues are resolved then protests as a freedome of expression is legitimate. For ranil to claim that strikes aare not acceptable is callous and it is as bad as SBDissanayaka to say that the strikers deserve a beating ot something to this effect. S BDissanayake should reaised that he has no legality to a ministerial portfolio for he failed to be elected to parliament as such if the will of the people prevail then he would be lynched