Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 6 May 2012





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Government Gazette

‘A better future for the working class’

The unity of working people essential to rebuild the nation and I am confident that you will not deviate from this task, President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the May Day rally of the UPFA held in Colombo said.

He said he would not permit outside influences to create disputes and destabilise the country. “We will never deny the people’s right to change governments through Universal Adult Franchise,” he said stressing the importance of increasing the country’s productivity as ‘imperialists are operating in various forms to acquire national assets’.

The President said imperialists are still under the impression that countries like Sri Lanka are their colonies and it was for this reason that ‘they exert more pressure on us’.

The President emphasised that what the government, the working community and the country at large have gained should be protected from these imperialists. “The country was deprived of the GSP facility and the Opposition thought that the government was on the verge of being overthrown by the working masses.’ ‘But that did not happen’, the President said.

“The members of the working class worked harder and effectively tackled the challenge facing the country. The working masses, irrespective of racial, religious and other petty differences should show more commitment to the country”, he said.

President Rajapaksa also stressed that the Government led by him adopted a policy of not recognising such differences in its effort to achieve freedom for the country.

”The UNP should apologise for depriving the Tamil community of its rights in the Jaffna district by carrying out the infamous vote rigging at the District Development Council election in Jaffna and for the destruction of the Jaffna Library before they hold a May Day rally in Jaffna.

I was delighted on hearing the news that the UNP was organizing its Rally in Jaffna after the government wiped out terrorism from the country”, he said.

He said that the Government increased the workforce in the government sector and one in every ten persons is a government servant at present.

“The government did not adopt a policy of privatising State ventures to fill the State coffers”, he said recalling how the State workforce was dwindling during the UNP regime as they adopted a policy of not recruiting personnel for State sector.

“We have ensured a better future for members of the working community. The President said that the government faced the looming food crisis by initiating a number of programmes to grow food crops locally and these programmes have borne fruit. He said that the people themselves can feel how their village, town and cities and the country at large are being developed.

The President said that the government has placed enormous confidence in the working masses and has built up a stable economy in the country, he said.

“We have great pride at the worldwide recognition received for our labour standards and practices that fully honour and observe the conventions and agreements of the International Labour Organization.

We have successfully raised the current pace of economic growth in the country to 8.3 per cent. As the moving force behind this success the working people of our country fully deserve all honour and pride for this achievement.

Therefore, it is now the time for them to participate in the victorious celebration of International Workers’ Day.

The country is now on the correct path of sustainable development, which will take both city and village towards progress and prosperity with speed, in the absence of conflict. Similarly, the Government is paying necessary and proper attention to the needs of the farm, field and workplace. Necessary regulations are in place for security of employment, health and welfare of working people, all of which are targeted towards development.

I value very much the manner in which our working people, setting aside all differences, have aligned themselves behind the progressive policies of Government to achieve the goal of development. They have correctly understood that such unity will secure the sovereignty of the country and ensure economic success.

It is also noteworthy that we have seen to the dawn of a time when the people of the North and East, who were denied even the right to life during three decades of terrorism, today enjoy the right to celebrate May Day in freedom. It is the responsibility of our day to ensure that the working people of Sri Lanka are not divided regionally whether northern, southern or eastern, but come together for the country, under the single National Flag of unity.We see the continued emergence of diverse conspiracies to drag the working people and country to the depths of destruction. I am confident that, as in the past, the working people of today too, would defeat all such conspiracies based on narrow political aims and opportunist self interest, to strengthen and protect their unity and rights.

I believe that the best tribute we can pay on this International Workers’ Day to the former leaders of the working people and the sweat and tears of our workers is to ensure the prosperity of the people and the country.

It is my wish that the support hitherto extended to the Government by the working people would continue to be given to overcome the challenges before us in achieving development and protecting national unity”.


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