War of words on opposition's strike
[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 July 2008, 18:21 GMT]
While Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said that the token strike it launched with the support of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) Thursday was a success, the Sri Lanka Government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed in
the parliament that the strike ended in 'utter failure' due to lack of support from the working class, political sources in Colombo said. The workers were pressurised in all provinces to be present at the work by the government officials and the police.
Heated argument ensued between the parliamentarians of the government and the opposition whether the strike was successful or not.
JVP trade union leader K.D. Lalkantha claimed that 70 percent of the teachers and medical staff attached to the trade union and 60 percent of the railway employees participated in the strike.
But, UPFA parliamentarians demanded the JVP trade union leader K.D.Lalkantha to resign his parliamentary seat claiming that the strike has failed. Mr. Lalkantha had challenged in parliament Wednesday that he would resign the post of National Trade Union Centre and his parliamentary seat if the token strike failed.
Meanwhile, Sri Lana Estate Workers Trade Union of the UNP announced that
ninety percent of the plantation workers joined the token strike.
Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), one of the trade unions representing the plantation
workers and an ally of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance government
disputed the claim.
Independent sources said in Colombo that about forty percent of the workforce participated in the token strike and others reported for work.