All essential services run smoothly; Satisfactory
attendance in offices, schools:
Workers defy strike call
COLOMBO: All essential services ran smoothly yesterday as a majority
of workers reported for duty defying calls by the JVP and the UNP for an
islandwide General Strike.
The strike call by the JVP’s National Trade Union Centre and the UNP
had little impact as almost all Government and private services
including education, health, transport, postal services, electricity,
water supply and ports functioned normally with near-normal attendance.
The strikers’ main demand was for a Rs. 5,000 salary raise for all
public servants, although several other conditions such as the
postponement of elections were added
Students near Ananda College, Colombo. Picture by Mahinda
Buses at the Pettah. Picture by Saman Sri Wedage
A Government spokesman said the workers had decided to support the
Government at this juncture even amidst cost of living problems to show
solidarity with the Security Forces battling terrorism.
The Government yesterday stated that if the strikers try to continue
their TU action these sectors will be declared as a essential services.
Those who refrain from reporting duty will be considered as having
resigned from their posts. Western Province Governor and senior Trade
Unionist Alavi Mowlana described the UNP, JVP led strike as a utter
“They couldn’t muster the support of the working class. The trade
unions and the public have realised the futile nature of the strike.”
When nearly 120,000 Government employees were sacked by the then UNP
rulers for asking Rs. 300 increment the JVP kept silent, Mowlana added.
“The UNP is playing a comedy drama forgetting the sacking of the
Government employees in 1980 for striking to get a nominal increment of
Rs. 300 during the UNP regime. They are now appearing to win the rights
of the working class based on personal political advantage.”
A normal daily routine prevailed yesterday at the Ceylon Electricity
Board (CEB) facilities throughout the country, Power and Energy Minister
W.D.J. Seneviratne told the Daily News.
“The services of the CEB continued as usual throughout the country
and there is no power failure reported since employees in all grades
have reported for duty,” Minister Seneviratne said.
The employees have clearly understood their responsibility when the
Nation has reached a vital crossroad in totally defeating terrorism, the
Schools functioned without any obstacle yesterday an Education
Ministry Spokesman told the Daily News. Accordingly most schools
including 9,766 Government schools and private schools were functioning
normally though there was a drop in attendance in some schools.
In addition the affiliated institutions of Education Ministry such as
Department of Examinations,
Department of Education Publication, National Education Institute,
Teachers Colleges and Colleges of Education were reported to be
All ports including Colombo Port were reported functioning as usual,
a spokesman of the Ports Authority told the Daily News. The loading and
unloading process went on normally.
Passengers transport services were conducted smoothly. The CGR
followed the scheduled time table while CTB and Private owned buses ran
as on other days. All office trains were reported to be operating on
The strike of the UNP, JVP led trade unions did not affect the health
sector. All OPDs and wards functioned normally at hospitals islandwide
but there was a decline in the number of patients.
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