State Minister of Transport Services and Community Police Dilum Amunugama says that President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has decided to take tough decisions regardless of who crosses the line from next year and not to reverse those decisions under any circumstances.
Q: There were reports in the media that the losses incurred during the train strike would be recovered from the strikers. Is it true?
“No, it’s not going to happen. How can we recover that from strikers? It can’t be done. The strikers also need to know what will happen to them in the end, if their department is brought down like this. There were some justifiable aspects to this strike, but it would have been better if we had not been notified and informed before the strike. However, the strike was called because they did not inform the administration and resolve the issue.
However, if such departments continue to strike, we will make tough decisions this year, such as whether to keep them in the hands of the government or transfer them to someone else. We need to be clear, we have made a decision to take serious decisions regarding loss-making institutions. If they are boycotted we will stop their services and implement those decisions. We will not reverse those decisions. We have made a big mistake. In the recent past, our fraternal parties and various groups have called off some of our decisions due to strikes and various decisions. The government has suffered a serious loss as a result.
If we talk about the East Jetty, now the decision has been reversed. What has happened now? Now there is no money to build the jetty and no foreign investors are coming, The strikers are happy. But the country does not have that money, the jetty is not developing, nothing is there now, there is no profit. So this is the situation. As such, the government will take such decisions in the future. They will not be withdrawn under any circumstances.
We also had discussions with the President yesterday. If anyone cannot agree with the collective decisions, we do not have a big problem with two-thirds, we have to implement those decisions. If not, we could face the accusation that the people did not get what they expected from Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. When asked, no one comes forward to answer them. Now some of the decision-makers and advisers are nowhere to be found. Therefore, some tough decisions will be implemented in the coming year.
The Railway Department is a loss-making institution. SriLankan Airlines is a loss-making company. If the people in these institutions do not show us that they are trying to make a profit, what else can we do? Now the SLTB is also a loss making institution. We spoke to them and discussed facts, and they have shown us that they are trying to make a profit. Or there is no way to pay salaries amidst this pandemic without taking it from the treasury. When we do that we see that there is an attempt by these people. But in some organizations, if there is no profits, if there are continuous losses, if there are strikes and protests continously, decisions will have to be made in the future about those institutions. I am not talking about one institution, I am talking about it in general”
Minister of State Dilum Amunugama stated this while participating in the opening ceremony of the new Aladeniya Police Station yesterday (30).