Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Minister responds to controversy surrounding deployment of workers to Israel

Colombo (LNW): Labour and Foreign Employment Ministe Manusha Nanayakkara expressed the view that political parties formed on ethnic or religious lines with the aim of exploiting racism for narrow political gains should be prohibited.

The Minister alleged that such parties have been using racist tactics for political advantage since the declaration of Sinhala as the official language in 1956. He further highlighted concerns about certain political groups attempting to leverage racism for electoral gains in the upcoming elections next year.

Minister Nanayakkara emphasised the need to eliminate political parties based on ethnic or religious affiliations from the country’s political landscape as a measure to eradicate racism.

In addition, he commented on the situation in the Israel-Palestine conflict, stating that Sri Lanka maintains a neutral stance and works on a Non-Aligned basis. He condemned acts of violence from both sides and expressed the country’s commitment to an unbiased position.

Regarding discussions within Parliament about the recruitment of workers to Israel, the Minister clarified that there is an existing agreement between Sri Lanka and Israel for the employment of workers.

However, he raised concerns about some individuals introducing racial elements into the discourse, which he deemed unnecessary and an attempt to reignite racism.

Minister Nanayakkara underscored the commitment to ensuring the safety of workers and expressed a willingness to send workers to any country, including Palestine, Russia, or Ukraine, provided there is a secure environment.

He condemned the exploitation of racism for political gain, expressing the government’s dedication to eradicating racism despite attempts to obstruct these efforts.

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