Equitable treatment

Friday, 12 November 2010 23:49 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Private sector requested to give leave for President’s swearing-in

Preparations for the second-swearing in ceremony of President Mahinda Rajapaksa are intensifying, with the Labour and Productivity Promotion Ministry requesting the private sector to follow along with public servants and grant paid holidays to employees on 19 November.

Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge made the directive yesterday to companies located in Colombo 1, 2, 3 and 4 areas, as these would be used extensively for the elaborate celebrations being planned.


The Fort area in particular, which functions as a financial hub, would be congested by the parades and create much inconvenience to people trying to reach their places of work. It is expected that most of them would anyway take leave on that day. If the request is implemented then these workers would essentially be given a long weekend since 19 November is a Friday.

The Government has declared a week of celebrations from 15-22 November for the inauguration of the second term of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Islandwide festivities and events have been organised to celebrate the national event.

The Cabinet Sub Committee organising the festivities has decided that colours of other political parties or photographs of any person other than the President should not be used for publicity purposes.

The committee has also stated that the inauguration ceremony is intended to be celebrated as a national event.

Several events have been planned to celebrate the event including a campaign to plant 1.1 million trees islandwide. The islandwide tree planting is scheduled at the auspicious time of 11 a.m. on 15 November.

The Navy’s Northern Naval Area Command under Rear Admiral S.M.B. Weerasekara will be planting 6,000 trees, part of which has already commenced and will be completed on the President’s birthday on 18 November.