Gayantha Karunatilaka

The Government yesterday said that it was ready to meet any contingency or negative fall-out of the countrywide multiple trade union strike which is expected to cripple the nation’s health, education, transport and other sectors.

“We are a democratically elected sovereign government and we are ready to meet any contingency. We are ready to meet fire with fire,” Government Spokesman, Media and Information Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke told Ceylon Today, last night.

“We will act within the democratic powers vested in the government and in accordance with the people’s mandate that we have received. We will see that the innocent members of society are not harassed or intimated, he added.

He said the ulterior motives of the unions was that of crippling the country and grabbing political power by sabotaging the good work of the government. He also said that the government will not allow these trade unions to make scapegoats of the innocent masses.

The Minister was however tight-lipped when asked what contingency plan the Government had to deal with any bad case scenario.

Asked whether the government was planning to call out the armed forces to fill in and sustain essential services such as Railways and Health , he said: “Wait and see what will happen.”

Asked whether the employment of all State sector employees would be terminated in a manner similar to the drastic action that President J.R. Jayewardene did in 1981, he remained non-committal, but repeated ” Wait and see what will happen”.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Ravi Ladduwahetty)