“Imperialists shed crocodile tears over HR violations” – Basil

Wednesday, 2 May 2012 01:42 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday that the Government has taken steps to give plantation workers and their families all the facilities they need and thereby undo the great injustice Western imperialists did to them. It is these very same imperialists who were now shedding crocodile tears over alleged human rights violations, he observed.

The Minister was addressing a May Day rally and meeting organised by the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) at Ginigathena town, Nuwara Eliya. A large number of plantation workers attended the event at which Live Stock Resources and Rural Community Development Minister and CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman presided.Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa greets plantation workers at the rally

Minister Rajapaksa said that it was amusing to see the UNP which cannot hold a May Day rally in Colombo, participating in a TNA rally in Jaffna. The TNA too, he observed, had no shame to invite the UNP which had set fire to the Jaffna library and paved the way for Back July 1983 that caused the loss of thousands of lives.  

Speaking further he said that since the CWC was a workers’ party the only other party that can wish the CWC well is the SLFP which ensured the welfare of workers and made 1 May a national holiday. The minister stressed the need for plantation workers and others of the working class to defeat conspiracies aimed at undermining workers rights for narrow political objectives that serve imperialist agendas. It was also the need of the hour for all workers to unite under one national flag for the sake of the country.

The Minister noted that although some political parties in the Government left the ruling alliance after the last presidential election, plantation workers leader Minister Arumugam Thondaman and his CWC continued to work with President Rajapaksa’s Government. They always stood with the Government when the need arose. They are a community that directly participates in the uplifting the country’s economy, according to the minister.

Concerning development he said that today the country is on the right track.

Prosperity is dawning rapidly and equally on the village, town and the plantation areas. He appreciated the contribution the CWC had made in this direction jointly with the government. If all stood together the country’s unitary status and economic victory would be ensured, he emphasised. It is a pleasure, he said, to see workers participating in the march towards making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia.

The Minister said that the Government was taking steps to solve the housing problem and other infrastructure needs of the plantation workers on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s advice. 

Minister Rajapaksa said, “When I was appointed Minister of Economic Development I was advised have a CWC Representative as Deputy Minister. Today, thanks to the President, there is peace and harmony in the country for all parties to hold May Day rallies everywhere, including Jaffna.”

He said that the Government’s objective was to bring prosperity to all people regardless of race, religion and caste.  The Government will continue to work with the CWC to solve the problems of plantation workers.

Among the others who addressed the meeting were Economic Development Deputy Minister and CWC President Muththu Sivalingam, Parliamentarian P. Rajadurai and several Provincial Councilors.