A group of politicians are working to use the Gaza crisis to deceive the Muslim people and get votes

“When Sri Lankan youth are getting job opportunities in Israel, some politicians shout in Parliament urging to stop diplomatic relations with Israel. This is because they no longer can deceive economically strong youth by giving them government jobs, tin sheedts or toilet squatting pans. They are trying to trick the Muslim people to get their vote in the same way that they got their votes by sowing racism” Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara said.

“The former Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, P.B. Jayasundara was identified as an economic killer but he remains free today and only politicians are facing problems,” the Minister added.
He was speaking at the Manusavi Diriya programme held in Galle organized by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Under the Manusavi Diriya programme, the workers who return to Sri Lanka after working abroad are given encouragement and support to rise as entrepreneurs. They are given both financial support as well as required knowledge.

The minister expressed the following views:

“When the country was in crisis, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe took charge of this country as a leader with backbone when others were reluctant to accept responsibility. We want to express our gratitude to him for bringing the country to where it is today”.

“We have implemented many programmes to bring the country to where it is today. We asked the expatriate workers to send money to the country in the right way. We gave car import permits to expatriate workers. We have brought 573 million dollars to this country in November. This year, 5.4 billion dollars have been remitted to the country. Fuel and Gas queues could be eliminated because the foreign workers brought money into the country in the right way. Even if the price is high, we were able to manage with fuel because of the remittances”.

“We have a responsibility to pay our gratitude to the expatriate workers. Many people have forgotten them now. The Manusavi Diriya programme is being implemented for expatriate workers. Most dollars come to the country from the earnings of the foreign workers. Their money remains entirely in the country”.

“In the past, money was extorted from the expatriate workers covering quarante in hotels. Expatriate workers were branded as human bombs. After ending that era, we introduced a special entry and exit point called Hope Gate at the airport for the expatriate workers. Scholarships are given to the children of expatriate workers. We introduced a pension scheme for the expatriate workers. We gazetted to increase the duty concession at the airport. But because of some officials, they are not implemented. The workers who sent dollars to the country were given permission to import electric vehicles. We have imported 100 vehicles. Even though the President ordered to extend the time for that, some officials are not implementing them”.

“P.B. Jayasundara was called an economic killer, responsible for the collapse of this country. It was Wimal Weerawansa who started saying that. But he is doing well today. Who has questioned him in the court? The politicians have been questioned. But the economic killer you mentioned hasn’t been questioned|”.

“If we want to build this country, we all need to come together. We need to help the expatriate workers who helped build the country to build entrepreneurship. The percentage of taxpayers in our country is very low. That means there are very few entrepreneurs in the country. If a country wants to develop, entrepreneurship must be promoted”.

“In 1988 – 1989, Korea collapsed economically. Korea had to get support from the International Monetary Fund. Korean expatriate workers came back to their country with wealth and knowledge. They started manufacturing. Today, Korea has become a big industrial nation”.

“Today, Sri Lanka is facing a situation similar to what Korea faced 30 years ago. That is why the government is working to increase entrepreneurship. Through the productivity secretariat, every productivity officer and every regional secretariat should create one entrepreneur. We are working to do it. We need to put political opinions aside and work together to build the country. We also have officials who are not economic killers but are the strength of the economy. We can build this country with them”.

“When I arrived in Galle using the highway, a young man gave me the ticket. When they were hired, the authorities asked for excellent grades in mathematics, science, and Sinhala. Do they need such qualified people to pay change for a ticket? Who approved these policies? Now the youth who were recruited in this way are protesting asking for an increase in wages. Some of these people did good jobs in the private sector and came to government jobs. In other countries, only the old age people are employed at such ticket counters. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that only the politicians are responsible for the situation. Who is to blame? Only the politicians? But whose houses were set on fire? The time has come to change this system for the sake of the country”.

“Today, a large number of people are ready to go to Israel. Even though there is a war in one corner of the country, young people go to these jobs because it is still economically difficult. According to the agreements between Israel and Sri Lanka, the employees are going to work in the agricultural sector in Israel. We have agreed to send 10,000 workers. First, 10,000 will be sent to the agricultural sector, and then 20,000 will be sent to the construction sector”.

“We give opportunity to the young people from rural areas who have registered on the website. Meanwhile, some people who came to the parliament wearing shawls say that we should not send our young people to Israel. We condemned Hamas when they attacked Israel and killed civilians. We also spoke against Israeli attacks on Gaza. We have a non-aligned foreign policy. We are a country against war. We are a country that loves peace. We do not want children to die. It doesn’t matter whether they are Muslims or Jews. We are against the death of anyone in the world. But our politicians have marginalized the Muslim people and try to lay traps to get the votes of the Sinhalese people. Other groups have come in a different guise and are trying to deceive the Muslim people to get the Muslim votes”.

“While the powerful countries of the world maintain relations with Israel and Palestine, some people in our country, who have no bargaining power in the world, come and ask to stop sending workers to Israel. They ask to halt diplomatic relations. They are afraid that our children will earn from Israel and become entrepreneurs. They can no longer hoodwink the youth offering a squatting pan, tin sheets, and government jobs. That is why these people who are looking for narrow political mileage oppose the youth when they get job opportunities in Israel”, the Minister said.

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