Ranil-Maithri-Mahinda clique that took steps to break up the state service has no right to ask for votes from state employees

Ranil-Maithri-Mahinda clique that took steps to break up the state service has no right to ask for votes from state employees and the government has not taken any action to increase the salaries of state employees by Rs.5967.00 according to the increase in the living index up to November 2017 says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva.

He said this speaking at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (22nd). The General Secretary of Lanka Teacher Services Union Mahinda Jayasinghe and the President of State Administrative Assistants Service U. Palihawadana were also present.

Speaking further Mr. Tilvin Silva said, “At the election, the JVP, the UNP, Maithri clique as well as Mahinda’s new party are contesting the local government election. During the past three years, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena ruled the country with the UNP. Mahinda Rajapaksa clique also ruled the country earlier. Though there are 4 main groups contesting the election, really there are only two camps. The Ranil-Maithri-Mahinda camp that slashed state service and suppressed state employees is on one side and the JVP that protects state service, struggles for the rights of state employees and win them their rights is on the other side. We believe that the state employees that use their postal votes should consider this.

The rulers who have ruled the country took steps to slash and break down the state service. The UNP attempted to completely abolish state service. They believed only the personnel of the three security services and the police as state employees. This attempt was defeated with the intervention of the trade unions of the JVP and other organizations. Also, the UNP followed moves to privatize state institutions. Mahinda Rajapaksa too followed this policy. State employees were suppressed and there were many instances of privatization and attempts to break down the state service. There was an attempt to partition Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and privatize it. The struggles carried out by trade unions of the JVP, with the leadership of the likes of Ranjan Jayalal saved the CEB from being privatized. However, certain institutions belonging to the CEB have been already privatized. Trade unions defeated the attempt to make the CEB a profit earning business instead of a state institution that serves the people.

There are attempts by the government to privatize Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). Already, some sections have been privatized. Recently, the government attempted to sell the oil tanks belonging to the CPC. However, struggles carried out by trade unions have temporarily halted this attempt. Also, the government is taking steps to sell Colombo Port. Already, Hambanthota Harbour has been handed over to a Chinese company on a 99-year lease. There is an attempt to hand over the East Jetty of Colombo Port to the private sector. It was the trade unions in the Port attached to the JVP that gave leadership to struggles against these moves. Also, the previous government, as well as the present government, attempted to make the Department of Railways a Board. The trade unions carried out a struggle against this move and have been able to maintain the railway services as a Department. There was an attempt to privatize SLTB claiming it was to be‘re-structured’. There was also an attempt to merge the Department of Inland Revenue, Department of Excise and Customs that bring income to the government as an ‘authority’ and take them under the Minister’s administration. The government’s attempt was to facilitate rackets. However, state institutions have been protected due to struggles carried out by trade unions.

It was the intervention of trade unions attached to the JVP that prevented the government’s effort to break down state institutions. As such, the JVP is the only political party the working masses should cast their vote for. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Maithripala Sirisena or Mahinda Rajapaksa has no right to ask the state employees to vote for them. The government brought a proposal to slash the pension, which is a right of state employees, stating it was necessary to reduce expenditure. There have been attempts since 2002 to slash the pension of state employees. This was presented as a budget proposal in 2016. Ranil – Maithri government brought a new bill and abolished the pension for those who enter government service. As such, rulers who attempted to break down the state service should not be brought back to power. All state employees should vote for the JVP that carried out struggles to protect rights of state employees.

Today, the government not only takes steps to slash state service but also suppresses state employees who struggle to win their rights. It is the government that should give rights to state employees. However, no government has given the rights without a struggle. JVP trade unions are the vanguard of all struggles carried out to win rights for employees. The government attempts to abolish rights that have been won. This government is taking steps to abolish eh 8 hour working day workers of the world won after bloody struggles. The pension is slashed. The EPF and ETF funds of private sector employees are used by the government and its lackeys to gamble. As such, the only political party the state employees could trust today is the JVP that struggles to protect and win the rights of state employees.

As a poor country, the state service is essential for our country. The health and education sectors, as well as the CPC and CEB, should be owned by the government. The common man could get a service only if they are owned by the government. The JVP not only take measures to protect the rights of the working masses in the state sector but also acts to protect the service the people in our country should get from the state sector. As such, we believe that the people in this country including the working masses would definitely vote for the JVP.”