May 01, Colombo: There are certain international conspiracies to revive the terrorism in the country and the working masses will stand united to preserve the victory the country gained by defeating terrorism, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his May Day message today.
The President expressed his appreciation to the Sri Lankan labour community for “contributing fruitfully to increase the country’s economic development growth rate to eight percent.”
Full text of President’s May Day message:
I remind you with pride of Sri Lanka’s higher recognition among the South Asian countries as a country which enforced the conventions of the International Labour Organisation very successfully. First and foremost I extend my gratitude for the Sri Lankan labour community for contributing fruitfully to increase the country’s economic development growth rate to eight percent.
With the defeat of terrorism we have expedited our program to win the rights of the working class. The introduction of a Pension scheme for the Private sector as a government which could recognize the interests of the people is a massive victory of the general public. It ensures a better future for the contributors of the Employees’ Trust Fund. It is a great pleasure for us as we dedicated ourselves to win the rights of the working class throughout the history.
Compensation for male and female labourers for accidents at the workplace was also increased. Timely amendments were also brought to the Workers’ Compensation Act. Laws are already imposed to eliminate the child labour. Sri Lankan women contribute largely to the labour force. Therefore strengthening the legal provisions related to their rights and privileges is a contemporary necessity. The government has paid attention towards it.
Moreover, steps have been taken to create the necessary administrative and management methodologies to use the foreign labour in a more fruitful manner. Our expectation is to grant the benefits enjoyed by the working class of the developed countries to our general public.
The main challenge our working community experienced was terrorism. The support we received from the working community when we stepped into defeat terrorism showed their awareness of this challenge. During our war against terrorism the labour community did not leave space for any strike or sabotage. The dedication and patience showed by our labour community to defeat terrorism is an honour for the world labour community. I also extend my best wishes for the trade union movement.