Are workers the pawns of political whims?

It appears that all and sundry who believe that they are persons of importance feels obliged to make announcements over the electronic media , the radio news channels and the print media of their profound views of the report by the UN panel appointed by Ban  Ki-moon. As is usual in our country all other issues are forgotten in this mania to  be in the limelight regarding a panel report which one wonders whether many of them have read or studied. Certain other politicians claim that they will bring in a million farmers to Colombo to express their displeasure at the audacity of the Secretary General of the UN to cast aspersions at this little island paradise and still others are collecting signatures to present the people’s displeasure at such an action. Meanwhile the Minister of External Affairs and certain others refer to using the much maligned diplomatic service officers to educate foreign governments especially those that are powerful like our next door neighbour of the very undiplomatic behaviour of expert panel while such countries state they will study the report when it is officially published. Many of us are rather confused because from the noise that is generated and the actions proposed one tends to believe that it is already officially published! Meanwhile another politician perhaps as a testimony of his earlier training has stated come May Day and he will continue to organize rallies bringing in large numbers of people into the city till such time as the report is withdrawn. Perhaps such a gesture maybe considered a bit dangerous cause people’s support so solicited may also be used in various other instances to destabilize the situation in the country , after as one Minister stated the report if and when published is a matter for political concern whereas at the moment the government is concentrating on the more economic development of the country which it hopes will in another couple of years reflect a per capita income of almost 4000 dollars though the greatest contribution to the GDP is from the Western province! So we will find the elite in the western province further expanding their financial strength while of course the blue collar and white collar workers are struggling to exist. And in this confusion the Leader of the Opposition claims that he is commencing an inquiry to see which foreign agencies have been responsible in the attempt to destabilize the main opposition party which had in reality very little stabilizing impact on the determination of policies to benefit the marginalized and those below the poverty line!

 Sadly enough all these activities are concentrating on using May day, the workers day to express their political views not on the continuing economic under-development that is persisting in the marginalized provinces, not on the problems facing the fixed wage earner who is facing the ever escalating prices of essential goods. Rather each political party is building up an atmosphere whereby the May Day platform will be used to further his own popularity or gain brownie points from those in authority.

Today unfortunately workers are fragmented under different political parties and as such they are made use of by party leaders and as is happening today extraneous issues are considered worker’s issues and no serious action is taken by either the government or the opposition political parties to find a solution to workers problems caused by the escalating cost of living and the fall of the purchasing power of the rupee. Perhaps a true worker leader like A.E Gonnesinha is needed to restore the dignity of the worker and remove him from being a pawn  of political whims.

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