‘Clash at Katunayake FTZ politically motivated’ -President
*FTZ clash instigated with vested
*Incident motivated by handful of
*Political advantage the main aim
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the clash that erupted at
the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) was instigated by certain political
elements with vested interests even after the government had informed of
its decision to the employees.
He said that it was an unfortunate incident spurred by a handful of
persons with political motives. President Rajapaksa added that a certain
group of persons attempted to gain political advantage by instigating
the clash at the Katunayake FTZ.
President Rajapaksa was of the view that this incident could have
been prevented, if this group heeded the government’s announcement which
received wider publicity.
The President also said that the government proposed the pension
scheme for the private sector with good intentions.
Addressing the National Scholarship Awards ceremony for children of
migrant employees registered under the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment
Bureau (SLFEB) at Temple Trees yesterday, the President noted that the
government has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the
welfare and better education for the children of Sri Lankan migrant
workers. He also said that migrant workers make an immense contribution
to the national economy of the country.
There are about 1.6 million Sri Lankan migrant employees who have
been registered with the SLFEB and they send billions of foreign
exchange to the country, he said.
President Rajapaksa also said that the government will discuss with
the relevant stakeholders in the field on the proposed pension scheme
for foreign employed persons, before proceeding with it.
Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera,
Ministry Secretary Col Nissanka N Wijeratne, Education Minister Bandula
Gunawardena and SLFEB chairman Kingsley Ranawaka also spoke on the
occasion. About 1,760 scholarships, ranging between Rs 15,000 to 30,000,
were granted for Grade 5, O-L, A-L and university selected students.