Celebration of Independence Day
(4th February 2007)
This year’s National Day programme took place at Ukuwelawatte to celebrate 59th anniversary of Independence in Sri Lanka. The highlight of the programme was to build up an inter-religious and inter-ethnic atmosphere. The religious leaders of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Catholics hoisted the respective religious flags. The Chef incumbent of North Central Province Ven. Udalumada Gunarathana Thero hoisted the National flag and pigeons were released to mark the freedom of our nation. The Religious Leaders in their addresses highlighted the importance of independence and the responsibility of each individual. Nearly 500 people of different ethnicity graced the occasion.
Plantation workers carried out a strike of 15 days requesting to increase their day’s wage from Rs. 135/- to Rs. 300/-. These wages increments is included in the collective agreement signed on 19/12/2006 at the Presidential Secretariat by the His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksha, between the Federation of Plantation employers and the leaders of Plantation trade unions. Mr. Lalisth Obeysekara has signed in this agreement on behalf of the Federation of Plantation employers. The following Plantation trade unions leaders signed on behalf of their unions.
Ø Mr. Arumugn Thondaman – Ceylon Workers Congress
Ø Mr. K. Velayutham – Lanka National Estate Trade Union
Ø Mr. S. Ramanthan – Federation of Plantation Trade Union
The wages structure accepted in these agreement as follows.
Basic Wage per day – Rs. 170.00
Cost of living allowance per day – Rs. 20.00
Allowance for 75% attendance – Rs. 70.00
Total – Rs. 260.00
Allowance for additional leave per day – Rs. 9.00 per Kilo Gram.
(Earlier rate was Rs. 7.00)
Though the Plantation workers requested to increase their day’s wage as Rs. 300.00 the collective agreement accepted only Rs. 260.00