Business Times

“Union threaten pull-out of key labour body”

Right of Reply

Reference to the article under the above heading which appeared in the Business Times last week, Labour Secretary W. J. L. U. Wijayaweera has written to the newspaper denying some of its contents. The letter says:

“In the above news item it is indicated that ‘other trade union leaders present at the meeting including Palitha Atukorale and Anton Marcus said Mr. Devendra referred (in particular) to the Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara. The irony is that while everyone the President, workers, employers, employees (Employers Federation of Ceylon-EFC) are in favour of this legislation, the Treasury and the Secretary are blocking it’.

I wish to emphasize that at the national Labour Advisory Council meeting held on 5th March 2012, although Mr. Devendra, enquired about the delays in the amending provisions on ‘Contract Labour’ in the Wages Boards Ordinance, he did not mention that Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the Treasury is blocking the Law.

No person at that meeting at any stage stated that Secretary to the Treasury had been blocking the law. In fact Dr. Jayasundara in no way is responsible for any delays in relation to processing of the above law or any other laws initiated by this Ministry. In that respect factually there was no person blocking the law but it had taken its due procedural steps. I wish you would correct the above news item as it is wrongly reported and prejudicial to Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the Treasury.”

Business Editor says: Our story was based on information provided by trade union leaders who attended the National Labour Advisory Council meeting. We even contacted Minister Gamini Lokuge and trade Union leader Leslie Devendra to verify facts and include their comments in the news item.

According to trade union leader Anton Marcus, Mr. Devendra had blamed Dr. Jayasundera for blocking the law stating that the President has also told him (Dr Jayasundera) not to intervene in the Contract Labour issue which has been already finalized. Mr Marcus said all the proceedings at the March 5th meeting had been recorded.

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