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* Prime Minister flays trade unions for making ‘vengeful demands’
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 10:10 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 18, Colombo: The Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena says the trade union actions are undermining the workers’ rights, their right to organize as unions and their bargaining power when they make vengeful demands.

The Premier made these comments is at the Progress Review Meeting on Aluth gamak- Aluth ratak National Development program, a multi- sectoral joint mechanism of empowering rural economic revitalization centers to ensure food security and nutrition held at the Matara District Secretariat on Friday.

The Prime Minister in his speech further mentioned that in order to overcome the most serious crisis that the country has faced, the government led by Ranil Wickremesinghe faced two major problems recently.

“The problem of obtaining foreign exchange was the major issue. In order to increase the foreign exchange of our country, instilling confidence in every public, private and rural unit was a must,” he said.

“Due to the foreign exchange crisis faced by our country, we have massively restricted imports as a basic step to save foreign exchange. In the past, the financial recognition maintained by the banks internationally was depleted rapidly.”

“Globally, the IMF and many countries are helping Sri Lanka to regain the strength in fiscal sectors. We walked on a targeted path to overcome the most difficult challenge,” the Premier added.

International Monetary Fund, World Bank, other friendly countries including India and China especially supported us during this crisis. International banks do not function though they receive aid or loans.

We declared that we were a bankrupt country based on the situation we were in. It is an economic statement. This challenging situation is changing to a certain extent because of the President and the government as well as every community that has helped adding strength to this end. With the release of the IMF statement, international financial assistance to Sri Lanka will recommence and it is expected the transactions will begin. We must restore the business community and government institutions to be economically strong as usual.

We pay our respect to the support of the rural community who joined this process. The village accepted the challenge. We proved that we can reverse the statement "it is impossible". Rural economic production was regenerated and fallen farming was revived. Every country accepted that Sri Lanka can win the challenge because it can bring the Maha season towards a success. It is an honour to our farmers, the Prime Minister said.

Addressing the gathering, Speaker of Parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said reasonable action should be taken regarding the lands taken over from the Land Reforms Commission. “That land has not been utilized productively. It is a sheer waste. The land must be taken over and use for agriculture, housing and other requirements of the rural people,” Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said.

Southern Province Governor Willie Gamage, State Ministers Ashoka Priyantha and Anupa Pasqual, District Committee Chairman, MP Nipuna Ranawaka, MPs Karunadasa Kodituwakku and Yadamini Gunawardena, Ministry Secretary Neel Bandara Hapuhinna and other senior officials were present on this occasion.


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