President warns of attempts to involve workers in destruction

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has warned of continuing attempts to involve the working class in destructive activities.

The President, in a statement issued to mark the May Day, today, says: "We see the continued emergence of diverse conspiracies to drag the working people and country to the depths of destruction. I am confident that, as in the past, the working people of today too, would defeat all such conspiracies based on narrow political aims and opportunist self interest, to strengthen and protect their unity and rights."

Following is the full text of the statement issued by the President’s office: "I extend my warm and comradely good wishes to the Working People of Sri Lanka who today celebrate International Workers’ Day, together with working, people throughout the world.

We have great pride at the worldwide recognition received for our labour standards and practices that fully honour and observe the conventions and agreements of the International Labour Organisation. We have successfully raised the current pace of economic growth in the country to 8.3 per cent. As the moving force behind this success the working people of our country fully deserve all honour and pride for this achievement. Therefore, it is now the time for them to participate in the victorious celebration of International Workers’ Day.

The country is now on the correct path of sustainable development, which will take both city and village towards progress and prosperity with speed, in the absence of conflict. Similarly, the Government is paying necessary and proper attention to the needs of the farm, field and workplace.

It is also noteworthy that we have seen to the dawn of a time when the people of the North and East, who were denied even the right to life during three decades of terrorism, today enjoy the right to celebrate May Day in freedom. It is the responsibility of our day to ensure that the working people of Sri Lanka are not divided regionally whether northern, southern or eastern, but come together for the country, under the single National Flag of unity,

I believe that the best tribute we can pay on this International Workers’ Day to the former leaders of the working people and the sweat and tears of our workers is to ensure the prosperity of the people and the country. It is my wish that the support hitherto extended to the Government by the working people would continue to be given to overcome the challenges before us in achieving development and protecting national unity."

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