- Some of the union members had shouted outside Sirikotha saying: “Apita bedila inna behe. Api Sujeewage minissu”
By Yohan Perera
The meeting between UNP-led trade union representatives and party seniors, held yesterday at Sirikotha, culminated in a furore when attendees turned hostile while expressing the issues they encountered.
Such hostility surfaced when party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and a few seniors were leaving the premises to attend the working committee meeting. However, Mr. Wickremesinghe stopped for a while to talk to the union members who ranted and raved over the delays in their promotions and increments.
However, after Mr. Wickremesinghe left the premises, former MP Palitha Range Bandara who spoke to the TU members assured that party seniors would meet them to address their issues. Some of the union members had shouted outside Sirikotha saying: “Apita bedila inna behe. Api Sujeewage minissu” (We are Sujeewa’s men. We cannot allow a division within the party).
Later, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam who responded to questions raised at a media briefing said party leaders would meet trade union representatives today.
“The aggressiveness displayed by trade union members is understandable as redress had not been provided to them even during the previous regime. We were hoping to resolve their issues but could not do so because former President Maithripala Sirisena did not allow us. The SJB members including its General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara who are in charge of trade unions should take the blame as they did not attend to the needs of union members,” he said.