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Sunday, 8 November 2009

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TUs should show more responsibility

President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a historic tour of the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts last Wednesday to meet the Security Forces and former displaced persons who have been resettled by the Government. This was the first time that the President met the resettled people in the Wanni.

The resettlement of displaced persons has been accelerated under the direction of the President with mega development projects in the North already being implemented. Not only the Tamils who were displaced, but also the Muslims who were driven away by the LTTE from their original settlements in the North and East, too, will be resettled.

These people were rendered homeless due to no fault of theirs. It was Velupillai Prabhakaran and his ruthless terror outfit which brought untold misery to these innocent civilians. The LTTE kept them as a human shield and the civilians had to face innumerable hardships.

Thanks to the untiring efforts of the President and the sacrifices made by the valiant Security Forces, all these civilians had been rescued and liberated from the jaws of LTTE terror.

Some countries and INGOs which make a big hue and cry over human rights and war crimes did not utter a word when these civilians were held as a human shield.

Countries which had openly committed war crimes in the past are now attempting to take on an arbitrator's role against our Security Forces which were only engaged in a humanitarian mission to rescue the trapped civilians.

This is precisely why those civilians are ever grateful to the President and the Security Forces for their unrelenting efforts to offer those citizens a better tomorrow. It is heartening to see the Security Forces joining the Government's development process in the war-torn areas. They have also won the confidence of the Tamil community.

No other Government had reposed such trust in the Security Forces for the past 30 years. It was the President who had faith in our Security Forces and embarked on the biggest ever human rescue mission in the world to liberate over a half a million people held by the LTTE in the North and East.

The Security Forces are now supporting the infrastructure development projects as the resettlement of displaced persons is taking place at a terrific pace. In similar vein, they should win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people like they won the war against the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world.

The President told the resettled people in Thunukkai in the Mullaitivu district, that the Government was taking steps to resettle all IDPs no sooner the de-mining process is completed. Foreigners or INGOs need not unduly worry about the IDP issue as Sri Lanka has successfully met the challenge.

The President and the Government are acutely aware of the pain and sorrow they had undergone. Unfortunately, a few countries and INGOs are shedding crocodile tears on their behalf.

Sri Lanka belongs to all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic, religious, political backgrounds and affiliations. All should live in harmony by respecting each other's ethnic and religious backgrounds. The country has the ability and courage to resolve her own problems.

Sri Lanka's sovereignty and territorial integrity should always take top priority. Indeed, supportive roles by friendly countries are greatly appreciated. Sri Lanka's right as a sovereign nation should be respected and protected at all times. This is precisely what the President and his Government are doing.

All Sri Lankans should feel happy and keep their heads high for the manner in which the President has acted with a clear foreign policy. The nation will never forget the unprecedented sacrifices made by the Security Forces. The President has already pledged a salary increase for the Armed Forces personnel with immediate effect.

The Government has taken this decision to recognise and respect the great sacrifices made by the Security Forces. These true sons and daughters of our soil have been rendering a yeomen service to save the country from terrorism which halted the country's development during the past three decades.

Though the Security Forces did a stupendous job, not once did they demand a pay rise or clamour for various other benefits. This is an example to the working class in the country. Those who resort to trade union action at the drop of a hat should realise that they too have a great responsibility.

Those in the essential services should think twice before resorting to trade union action.

The working class, by all means, has the right to take trade union action, but that should be taken only as a last resort and not the first, as the JVP trade unions believe.

Having set a shining example to the world by becoming the first nation to eradicate terrorism, Sri Lanka is poised to win the economic war as well. Irresponsible trade union action could affect the national economy drastically and opportunist Opposition politicians should not be allowed to achieve their political goals under the guise of the rights of the working class.

Irrespective of political and social affiliations, all should unite and make a collective and determined effort to win the economic war as well.

The Government is making every endeavour to reach that goal and as responsible citizens, all have a great role to play in this endeavour.

Let's work hard to usher in economic prosperity. Be it urban or rural, the masses have an important and decisive role to play. The Government alone cannot work towards that goal. Economic prosperity is possible only if the citizens make a meaningful contribution in their respective trades.

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