Friday, May 11, 2012

I only just heard how people were forced to ‘MARCH’ on May Day!

The level to which people were forced to attend the Government May Day rally was not made clear to me until I heard this from one who was forced to attend.

The government recently gave temporary positions for unemployed graduates in local government offices, known as District Secretariats. About 10,000 were placed there with a monthly stipend of Rs10,000, on a temporary basis, with a review of extension depending on their performance.

These people were chosen from each GN (Grama Niladari) Division, where the GN was asked to present names, and only those who are with the Government would receive such letters as the GN positions are also now politicized.

These people do not have a job, and District Secretariat which is already overstaffed with political appointees, is at a loss as to what to do with them. In any case they were instructed that as part of their employment they HAD to attend the May Day rallies in Colombo, on the Govt. side.

Similarly the Teachers Union had also protested that those recently appointed to the teaching service, where there are many vacancies for qualified teachers in certain subjects, also had to attend the May Day rally if they wanted to keep their jobs and get recommendations in the future. This sort of covert pressure of threats and intimidation is carried out nationwide by the Government in contravention of all norms and procedures, making a mockery of the statements that are made in public.

It seems to me therefore few people came to the May Day rally on the government part out of their own free will and most of the people were coaxed to come owing to a threat that would affect their future in the service or the vocation they had chosen.

It is important the reader appreciates that this kind of action, by a Government is tantamount to interference in one’s life and a human rights violation. This obnoxious practice is reprehensible, and more people must speak out and let the people understand what is going on to mislead the people.

I trust a rational reader of the blog will come to his/her own conclusion on the merits of such an order and the fact that being forced to do something against one’s will if one wants to hold onto one’s job, is the vilest form of intimidation at the workplace.

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