Protests staged to gain political mileage : Dr Harsha de Silva

Protests staged to gain political mileage : Dr Harsha de Silva

Written by Staff Writer

23 Sep, 2019 | 9:23 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – A number of Government Institutions saw operations ceasing owing to the sick leave strike carried out by non-executive government servants.

The public who arrived at the Suhurupaya in Battaramulla to obtain their passports and National ID’s faced great difficulty today.

Meanwhile, the officials at the Department of Labour and Pensions also did not report to work today (September 23).

The strike action was also carried out in outstation areas.

A group of near 300 applicants for the position of Trainee Project Assistant were left stranded for more than 3 hours due to no officials reporting to work at the Ampara District Secretariat.

A group of 18 trade unions carried out this protest expressing their displeasure at the decision by the government to offer a Rs 50,000 allowance to government executive grade employees.

They state that such a hike needs to be reciprocated with an increase in their salaries as well.

While a cabinet paper on the executive grade salary increase was presented to the treasury by the cabinet, they are currently awaiting treasury advice on the matter, with it set to be taken up at the Cabinet tomorrow (September 24).

H. A. L. Udesiri, the Secretary of the State Executive Officers Joint Union noted that the government was wrong to only increase the salaries of Legal officers and violating the State Salaries policy in the process. He added that they requested the Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara not to go through it as it would create a commotion. He went on to note that the solution was to approve what they had presented to the cabinet on Tuesday.

Dr Haritha Aluthge, General Secretary of the Government Medical Officers’ Association noted that when they engaged in a strike with an election close by they were politically manipulated. He added that they conveyed to the minister that it was not them who started this struggle and they were merely dragged into it. He went on to note that the GMOA did not create the anomaly and it was the government and the government was behind this.

A discussion on these issues was held at the Finance Ministry this afternoon.

Minister of Public Administration Ranjith Madduma Bandara stated that further discussions on the matter will take place at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (September 24).

Meanwhile, the Joint Association of University Trade Unions’ strike action remains to continue. They carried out a protest at Thummulla today (September 23).

Wijethilaka Jayasinghe, media spokesperson, Joint Association of University Trade Unions noted that there is only one solution to this issue, and that is to give us the same 107% salary increase as other employees received. He added that if their demands are not met, the registration of the university students, the convocations, the examinations, and the research work would inevitably come to a stop.

This is the 14th consecutive day on which this strike has been carried out.

Dr Harsha de Silva, Non-Cabinet Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution noted that they acknowledge that an anomaly exists and it occurred during the 5 years of this government. He added that however the protest is staged by those who kill protestors in order to gain political mileage in the upcoming election.

 

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