Govt. sees ‘conspiracy’ in Tuesday strike

Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama Our Lobby Correspondent

The Government charged yesterday that the trade union strike held on Tuesday was a ‘conspiracy’ engineered by a few political parties and denounced the protest as a complete failure. Delivering a statement in Parliament, Leader of the House and Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva said, that the strike had separatist undertones and was aimed at supporting moves for external forces to intervene in Sri Lanka’s affairs. He said it was an attempt by the opposition to derail the ongoing development process in the country.

“The recent electricity price increase was the scapegoat for this strike, but the employee attendance was better than what is experienced on a normal day. In an office, employee attendance generally is around 85% to 90% even after study leave, sick leave, and private leaves being approved,” the Minister explained. He said that as per the information collected from 487 institutions at 2:30 p.m. the workforce turn out was 94.1%.  “The workforce that turned up for shifts at Sri Lanka Transport Board was 104.5%, which enabled to use 202 additional buses. All schools, hospitals, banks, ports, and other state establishments preformed the normal duties without any interruption,” the Minister claimed. “It is the JVP that destroyed over 5,000 transformers during the ‘Black July’. It is the same party that supported the J.R. Jayewardena Government, to terminate thousands of employees. The fact that the United National Party joining this strike is funny,” Minister de Silva said.