General Secretary of the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU), Ranjan Senanayake today called on the Government to immediately stop acting on the advice of politicians and follow the advice of health advisers to prevent the spread of the Covid epidemic which is ravaging the country, addressing a press conference. The press conference was convened by the Public Resources and Human Rights Protection Center. Addressing the media, he further stated that instead of correcting the shortcomings of the covid prevention programme, the government has taken steps to suppress the organizations and individuals who expose them.
Speaking at the media briefing, the General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Joseph Stalin stated that his union had requested the government to provide anti-covid vaccine to teachers who interact with students during the opening of schools and the government did not pay any attention to this. He also said that students are at high risk of spreading the covid epidemic through teachers. He said that Minister Channa Jayasumana had publicly threatened the leaders of the health trade unions who had pointed out the shortcomings of the covid prevention program and strongly condemned those threats.
Wijepala Weerakoon, Treasurer of the Commercial and Industrial Workers’ Union, said that despite a number of trade unions, including his own organization, requested the Government to vaccinate workers in Free Trade Zones where the country earns dollars, but those requests have not been heeded. He further said that considerable number of workers working at Katunayake, Biyagama and Koggala were infected with covid-19. He said that as the infected workers of Katunayake were not taken to quarantine centers, they were living with other fellow-workers in their boarding places, leaving others at risk of contracting the disease. Further these workers have no any method to buy their food and other needy.
Jagath Gurusinghe of Sri Lanka Telecom All Employees Union, Robert Francis of Ceylon Estate Services Union, Weliwita of Postal and Telecommunication Officers Union and Kalpa Maduranga of Protect Union also addressed the media briefing.