NMSJ concerned about arrests

The National movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) said that it is gravely concerned about a number of actions taken by the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration in recent days.NMSJ chairman, former Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya said that it is their belief that the arrests of Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Palitha Atampola and Dhananjaya Siriwardena, officials of the Bank of Ceylon Employees’ Union, who were engaged in a peaceful struggle, simply cannot be justified.

We earnestly request the government to consider that priority that must be given to resolve the economic and political crisis faced by the country today and to therefore reach a reasonable compromise on political reforms with those engaged in the citizen’s struggle,” he said.Jayasuriya said that the importance of working together with all parties and other influential groups in the society for the future well-being of the country can not be stressed enough.

“If the government fails to adopt such an approach, it may have a negative impact on the attempts to form an all-party government that the President states he desires, as well as in obtaining the support of the international community. Unfortunately, if such a situation is created, it will not be favourable for the President, the government as well as the country,” he said.

NMSJ chairman said that it is essential that the government pays close attention to the views expressed by the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission as well as the international community about its actions. Also, the government must seriously listen to the aspirations and opinions of the common people of the country, he said.

“We draw the attention of the President and the Government to these matters with the utmost sincerity due to the importance of achieving the basic expectations expressed by the President in his throne speech in a favourable manner,” he said.

Jayasuriya said that there is some optimism among the people following the President’s policy statement in parliament on Wednesday. However, the above mentioned factors might soon dash the expectations of the people.

“We strongly believe that the President’s declaration that he is ready to establish an all party government to strengthen the economy, take measures to streamline the supply of electricity and fuel, provide relief to low-income earners and reduce the cost of living, are important policy matters for the country’s welfare. These will undoubtedly bring great relief to the people. The National Movement for Social Justice also appreciates the steps taken to re-enact the 19th constitutional amendment, and the attempts in increasing the powers of the parliament to enable the back row MPs to directly participate in governance. However the above mentioned series of events has left us highly concerned,” he said.


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