UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesighe today charged that the government is not increasing the salaries and wages of workers since it has an agreement with the IMF.
Addressing the party’s May Day rally in Bandarawela he said the public would not be able to enjoy any benefits due to the agreement that the government has with the IMF. “The people have a right to receive benefits with the ending of the war. But the government continues to abide by the IMF Agreement. It is an agreement against our sovereignty denying the right of granting benefits to the people. The government cannot be regarded as a friend of people but is an enemy of the people as it works as the IMF want,” he said.
“If the government requests the people to sign a petition in order to protect the sovereignty of the country, we too will arrange to sign a petition demanding the cancellation of the IMF agreement and increase the salaries and reduce the cost of living,” he charged.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said that party’s a stand on the UN advisory panel report will be announced this week.
He added that discussions on the increase of daily wages of estate employees will be continued. “Unfortunately the trade unions were compelled to accept the wage of Rs.405 due to the Minister Thodaman’s agreement to that amount,” he said.
“Only the trade unions in Opposition urge for the increase of the wages. All other trade unions are with the government. However with the collaboration of other trade unions we will continue the struggle for a reasonable wage.
Today tea and rubber are fetching high prices and we will form a committee comprising our MPs, and trade unions to negotiate with the Estate owners for a higher wage,” he said.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Aththanayaka, Chairman of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya Ravi Samaraweera, Chairman Government services Trade union Federation MP Joseph Michael Perera, MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Badulla District MP. Harin Fenando , General Secretary JSS Sirinal De Mel and Uva Provincial Council Member K. Velayutham also spoke. (Palitha Ariyawansa)