Ex-President laments about govt allowing issues to deteriorate

By Norman Palihawadana

The government could have prevented most of the strikes that were crippling the country if it had engaged in honest discussions with the relevant unions, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa told The Island yesterday.

Commenting on the work to rule campaign by the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU), which is to notch up a gear in intensity after its today’s special general meeting, Rajapaksa said that he would have prevented things from deteriorating this far.

"Things have become so bad that the CEBEU is demanding the resignation of the Director General of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL). It is obvious that this is a dangerous situation and a wrong move can set a bad precedence. But the problem is that things were allowed to go this far," he said.

The former President added that the current administration had been extremely bad for the working people of the country. While things were bad from 2015, things have become worse after a United National Party (UNP) MP took over the position of Labour Minister.

"This is a government that used physical force to disperse disabled soldiers. Who does that? It gives the impression that the government only understands force and people are becoming increasingly militant," Rajapaksa said.

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