The government slashed the pension gratuity of the state employees. The government and the President prepared plans to do so. The JVP carried out a massive struggle against this sordid act in Parliament, Provincial councils and trade unions. A struggle was carried out incorporating all state employees. In the end the government had to withdraw. Also, it is the JVP that acts to protect the independency of the state employees and struggles against state employees being used for political agendas of the government.
According to the government a family of four needs more than Rs.50,000 to make ends meet. Which state employee in the Uva Province gets such a salary? JVP is the main partner in the struggle to get the salaries of state employees increased. It was the JVP that carried out ‘torch demonstrations’ against the increase of electricity tariff. The government had to take a step backwards due to the agitations the JVP launched throughout the island. Hence, it is the duty of state employees to strengthen the JVP. The rights of the state employees of Uva would be affirmed if the JVP is strengthened. The state employee should take an intelligent decision and on the 4th and the 5th, the days reserved for the postal votes use his vote, for the JVP which acts to protect the rights of the state employees,” said the Information Secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath speaking at a media conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today (31st). Member of the Central Committee Attorney at Law Sunil Watagala too was present.
Speaking further Mr. Herath said, “Everyone in the country knew from the start of the Uva PC election that it would not be a free and fair election. Serious incidents were also reported on the day nominations were presented. Candidates who have patronage of the government blatantly violated laws. Government officials, resources and vehicles were used in the campaign of the ruling party. Since then election violence and violations have escalated. It has gone beyond the normal state of election violence to savage ‘thuglection’. Gangs of thugs, violence and members of underworld are used only when a government loses its power. Hence, it is clear that UPFA government is losing its power. People are rejecting candidates of the UPFA. This is why they are in a rage. It is this rage that is reflected through Uva PC election. The government is making an unsuccessful attempt to protect its dwindling power. Attacks like the one at Badalkumbura and burning and destroying election offices are intensifying. Our offices at Madagama and Madulla areas have been completely destroyed. We have complained to the Commissioner of Elections and the police. Even last night (30th) an election office at Sevanagala was destroyed. The latest government strategy is to destroy the office and take away decorations and whatever property in the office. The offices at Buttala and Wellawaya were destroyed and the decorations and other paraphernalia have been taken away. As photographs of the attacks were published in the media they have changed their strategy. They don’t leave anything in the destroyed office. We maintain election offices according to the election law and with written permission from the District election authorities and the police. These legal offices are destroyed by UPFA maintained thugs.
Most of the UPFA morons hate red cloths. They get excited like bulls when they see a red flag. UPFA bulls will land on their buttocks due to the bullish acts they commit.
On one hand terror is unleashed using state power and on the other state employees are deviously deployed for the campaign. State media belonging to the people in the country is used for government’s election campaign in an unsuccessful attempt to distort public opinion. Recently, certain state officials held meetings for graduates, Samurdhi Development Officers, Agricultural Research Officers recently recruited by the Ministry of Economic development to instruct them regarding talking to people on the development achieved by the government and had ordered them to get ready to go to Uva Province for the campaign. The officials who ordered the state employees to compulsorily participate in the government campaign were Ariyaratna Athugala of Government Information Department and the President of Sri Lanka Foundation Institute Ranjith Bandara.
A meeting was held in the auditorium of Gampaha Pradeshiya Sabha. Such meetings were held in Matara, Galle, Hambantota, Kurunegala and Puttalam districts. What is hilarious is the employees were asked to go to Uva for a survey.
The Department of Ayurveda too has selected Haldummulla and Wellawaya areas for its nutritious programmes. The government has come down to such a shameful level. Attempts are being made to get as many state employees as possible for its campaign. Now only the Department of Ayurveda has remembered the malnutrition of the people in Uva. Officials are urgently called to Uva to give nutrients for the hungry and the poor. This indicates how helpless the government is. It has no members or supporters to volunteer to take part in its campaigns. That’s why it has to use its power to force state employees in its campaigns. This is an illegal act. We made the Commissioner of Elections aware of this move with all data at the meeting we had with him on the 29th. He accepted what we told him. He too has information including video clips. He knows about the lecturers at the meetings held for state employees. He knows about all meetings held for state employees to get them to take part in government’s election campaigns. However, no legal action is being taken. When we tell our issues the Commissioner comes out with his issues. It has become a joke now.
Certain state employees have questioned the lecturers regarding the violations. Graduates and state employees have been put down to this level by the government. State employees have questioned the lecturers regarding their allowances, lodging and food. They have not answered any of these questions. The law of the country has been blatantly violated. Government offices and official vehicles are used in the campaign. The employees have not been given an official letter regarding the so-called survey. Hence, we ask state employees not to participate in any election related campaign. It is an illegal act. If we complain regarding such incidents the state employees would be the accused when cases are heard in courts. Those who gave instructions and did lectures would go scot free. As the state employee takes the leaflet of the candidate from house to house in Uva he would be the accused in any legal procedure. He would be called before court. We ask graduates of the Ministry of Economic Development, Samurdhi Development Officers, Agricultural Research Officers and other state employees not to get involved in illegal moves.
The law may not be active today. But it would be definitely implemented in the future. We would hand over the complaint regarding illegally deploying of state employees in the election campaign to the Human Rights Commission tomorrow (1st). Comrade Sudath Balagalla and Attorney at Law Comrade Sunil Watagala are expected to hand over the petition. We also hope to take legal action regarding this. Deploying state employees and carrying out attack against the JVP indicates the decline and the bankruptcy of the government. As people’s issues were not solved inn Uva, it became the poorest of all provinces.
About 30,655 have applied for postal voting in Uva Province. 19983 have applied from Badulla
District while 10,672 applied from Monaragala District. 7000 applications have been rejected. The reason for the rejection according to the government is not handing over applications in time.
According to laws for postal voting the head of the relevant institution should put his signature on two occasions before handing over the application. Certain applications have been signed only once. Certain heads of institutions have not handed over the applications in time. The issue is extremely high in the education sector. The applications for postal voting of many teachers have not been handed over in time. The state employee is denied the opportunity to vote when the head of the department makes the mistake. They lose the opportunity to vote when they agree to do election duties. A complex situation has developed. Employees who engage in state service with various difficulties hoped to vote on the 4th or the 5th.
Recently, the government slashed the pension gratuity of the state employees. The government and the President prepared plans to do so. The JVP carried out a massive struggle against this sordid act in Parliament, Provincial councils and trade unions. A struggle was carried out that incorporating all state employees. In the end the government had to withdraw it. Also, it is the JVP that acts to protect the independency of the state employees and against state employees being used for political agendas of the government. According to the government a family of four needs more than Rs.50,000 to make ends meet. Which state employee in the Uva Province gets such a salary? JVP is the main partner in the struggle to get the salaries of state employees increased. It was the JVP that carried out ‘torch demonstrations’ against the increase of electricity tariff. The government had to take a step backwards due to the agitations the JVP launched throughout the island. Hence, it is the duty of state employees to strengthen the JVP. The rights of the state employees of Uva would be affirmed if the JVP is strengthened. The state employee should take an intelligent decision and use his vote on the 4th and the 5th, the days reserved for the postal votes, for the JVP which acts to protect the rights of the state employees,” said Mr. Herath.
Responding to questions raised by journalists Mr. Herath said, “
Today the backbone of the Commissioner of Elections of our country has been broken. No legal action is taken despite there is evidence. The police don’t obey his orders. He functions only as a clerk. That’s why cartoonists have named him as ‘powerless Tarzan’. He was put down to this position by the 18th amendment the government passed in parliament. We decided to go to the Human rights Commission as the Commissioner of Elections is unable to take legal action. When the inquiry to the complaint to HRC takes place the Commissioner too will have to answer. However, we don’t expect 100% justice from this move.
The meeting at Badalkumbura was a legal meeting. Shasheendra Rajapaksa’s supporters destroyed the decorations first. Loudspeakers were removed from the poles and they were destroyed. The Deputy Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha assaulted our comrades who were putting up the stage. While this was happening police officers were present. They couldn’t control the large number of thugs who had come there. At present there are five election offices of UPFA candidates at Badalkumbura. Legally, they could have only one office. They came armed with guns and iron rods, destroyed the stage and decorations, assaulted our comrades and now to hide their guilt they are spreading false stories.
Susil Premajayanth had said two UPFA supporters who were injured could not be taken to hospital. It is a blatant lie. There is a hospital at the place where the incident occurred. The place is called Hospital Junction. He had said the JVP supporters were attacked by villagers. Do villagers come to the place where a stage is put up at midnight in Defender vehicles? These are fabrications created by bankrupt lawyer politicians to protect their thugs. Any sane person in the country knows what happened at Badalkumbura.
Government employees have the right to do politics independently. However, if they are being forced by their heads of departments to engage in politics it is not an instance of engaging in politics independently. When state employees are threatened that their privileges are cut they become helpless.
The Member of the Central Committee of the JVP attorney at Law Sunil Watagala addressing the media said, “A discussion was held with the Commissioner of Elections regarding the election violation that was committed at Mahiyanganaya on 6th August. The discussion was regarding the threats to election officials from thugs. The DIG Navaratna who is in charge of election matters too was present. He was asked where the ministerial security personnel who were involved in the incident were administered from. DIG Navaratna clearly said the IGP cannot control ministerial security personnel. He said the ministerial security personnel are controlled by an officer called Wickremesinghe in Presidential Secretariat. As such, the IGP has no right to talk about ministerial security personnel who were involved in the Mahiyanganaya incident or the defender vehicles used. The Commissioner of Elections promised us that he would give orders to the officer Wickremesinghe in Presidential Secretariat. The vehicles with CC numbers that are used in the campaign in Uva are that of ministerial security personnel. Susil Premajayantha apologized to the Commissioner. Now he comes out with blatant lies.
A discussion was also held regarding deploying Samurdhi Development Officers, Agricultural research Officers and graduates in UPFA campaign. The deploying of these state employees is considered as a bribe according to clause 81 of provincial council elections act. It is the innocent state employees who would get caught in this bribe trap. The likes of Athugala would give instructions but it is the state employee that would get a letter asking for explanation for engaging in illegal activities during duty hours.
We hope to file a complaint with Human Rights Commission and then may take legal action as well. Also, the state employee has the right according to clause 12.1 of election law in Sri Lanka to act independently. Hence, the state employee need not be overpowered by illegal pressure.”