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* Sri Lanka’s Labor Movement should be modernized in line with global trends- President
Tue, Sep 26, 2023, 02:35 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

President receives the Inaugural Copy of “The Right Eye” by Minister Manusha Nanayakkara

Sept 25, Colombo: President Ranil Wickramasinghe addressing the launch event of the book “The Right Eye,” authored by Mr. Manusha Nanayakkara, the Minister of Labor and Foreign Employment, said that along with the global labor movement, the Sri Lankan labor movement should also be modernized.

The launch event for the investigative book titled “The Right Eye,” authored by Mr. Nanayakkara took place Sunday at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. President Ranil Wickremesinghe presided over the ceremony, with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in attendance.

During the event, Minister Manusha Nanayakkara presented the inaugural copy of “The Right Eye” to President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Subsequently, the book was shared with esteemed guests, including Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

Book represents the culmination of a 23-year journalistic quest initiated by Mr. Nanayakkara.

This gives an opportunity to read the history of the labor movement in Sri Lanka with a right-wing analysis in one book, and the book also presents a clear vision of the entire labor movement and the future labor market.

By studying all the books and publications that have been written so far regarding the labor movement, this book has make an effort to bring out the reality of the hidden events in the history of labor.

Notably, all proceeds from the book’s sales will be dedicated to the welfare of the Kaffir community residing in the Sirambiadi area and the children of workers in Sri Lanka.

President Ranil Wickramasinghe, who addressed the ceremony, said that along with the global labor movement, the Sri Lankan labor movement should also be modernized.

Addressing the gathering President Ranil Wickremesinghe said;

Interestingly, the labor movement in Sri Lanka had a unique beginning. Unlike other countries with industries, our nation lacked a significant industrial base. Even when considering the struggles of carters, industries weren’t a driving force. Our trade unions predominantly originated from government employees. The government played a pivotal role as it controlled industries, ports, petroleum companies and bus services. In essence, this movement had its roots in the government.

Today, we’ve witnessed a transformation in the status of workers, as many have transitioned from the working class to the middle class. They are now referred to as trained individuals, graduates, trainees and engineers. As employees, their needs have evolved, reflecting a global trend. 25-30% in the Western world now work remotely, without a fixed workstation, offering flexibility in work hours. This new work paradigm is unfolding worldwide. Manusha has provided a thorough analysis of these developments in his book and its imperative that we consider how we will navigate this changing landscape in the future.

Are our trade unions embracing the digital realm? Are they adapting to forge new connections in this evolving landscape? The trade union movement, once rooted in the physical gathering of people, now faces a different reality—people are dispersed and connected online. In light of this transformation, we must contemplate fresh approaches to organizing the labor movement. I will pass it to Manusha, whose birthday we celebrate today.”

Addressing the gathering Labor and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said;

“When I ventured into the realm of politics, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe stood as a visionary leader whom we deeply respected and looked up to as our mentor. Through politics, the President not only guided us but also encouraged us to explore a wide range of subjects. Whenever the forward-thinking leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, made decisions for our country, the populace often opposed him. However, history showed that each time he defeated, our nation faced severe consequences within a year.

Our President possesses a remarkable vision for the future, unrivaled by anyone else in foreseeing the destiny of our country. Regardless of the electoral outcomes, when our nation teetered on the brink and our citizens faced adversity, you fearlessly stepped up to confront the challenges. This is why I am honored to present this book to him first, as we have successfully met those challenges to this day.

The event was graced by the presence of notable figures, including Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Cabinet Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Mahinda Amaraweera, Tiran Alles, Ministers of State Jagath Pushpakumara, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Arundika Fernando, Members of Parliament Wajira Abeywardena, Vadivel Suresh, President Director General (Trade Unions) Saman Rathnapriya, President’s Advisor (Parliamentary affairs) Ashu Marasinghe, President Director General (Community Affairs) Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, former parliamentarians, ambassadors, representatives from international organizations, political activists, ministry secretaries, retired government officials, prominent business leaders, family members, friends, trade union representatives and journalists, both domestic and international.


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