Thu. Dec 2nd, 2021

PROPOSED BY TRADE UNIONS IN ORDER FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA  TO DEMONSTRATE ITS POLITICAL WILL TOWARDS COMPLYING WITH PRE REQUISITES OF THE EU GSP+ REGIME 

1. Rescind the proclamation of the emergency law and establish an atmosphere  conducive to the exercise of fundamental civil liberties.1 

2. COVID health guidelines shall not be abused to stifle the right to freedom of  expression and the right to peaceful and non-violent means of public protests which  are preconditions of the right to freedom of association guaranteed by ILO  Convention No.87 and Article 22 of the ICCPR. 

3. Stop the deployment of the police and its criminal investigation units to harass,  threaten, intimidate, subject to surveillance and discourage trade union and civil  society activists from exercising the right to expression and the right to peaceful and  non-violent means of public protests. 

4. End all forms of judicial harassment against trade union and civil society activists  engaged in exercising the right to expression and the right to peaceful and non violent means of public protests i.e arrests, detentions, frivolous prosecutions, etc…2 

5. Adopt specific laws in consultation with worker stakeholders to sufficiently protect  public and private sector trade union activists against acts of anti-union  discrimination to enable the exercise of rights embodied in ILO Conventions No.87  and No.98 (Freedom of association and Collective bargaining). 

6. Introduce a transparent multi-stakeholder “monitoring and engagement mechanism” (inclusive of worker stakeholders) under the observance and/or  supervision of the local EU Delegation Office, to foster compliance with Core  Conventions of the ILO and to take constructive steps to provide for the prompt  engagement and implementation of appropriate remedial measures required to  improve the “deteriorating labour rights’ situation” in the country, referred to in  paragraph 15 of the Resolution dated 10th June 2021, of the European Parliament,  concerning Sri Lanka. 

-End 

30.09.2021 

1 Rule by Emergency supersedes all other statutes other than the Constitution and thus places fairness and the  rights of citizens at stake. There is no justification for its continuation as commodity price controls introduced  under it now stands lifted. 

2 The prevalence of judicial harassment in Sri Lanka was recognised by the UN High Commissioner for Human  Rights in her opening statement on Sri Lanka at the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on  13.09.2021. 

Presented by, 

1. Mr. Anton Marcus 

Joint Secretary – Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union 2. Mr. Leslie Devendra 

General Secretary – Sri Lanka Nidhas Sewaka Sangamaya 

3. Mr. Palitha Atukorale 

President – National Union of Seafarers 

4. Mr. Maxwell Sylvester Jayakody 

General Secretary – Ceylon Mercantile Industrial & General Workers Union 5. Ms. Swasthika Arulingam 

Deputy General Secretary – Commercial & Industrial Workers Union 6. Mr. Joseph Stalin  

President – Ceylon Teachers Union 

7. Mr. Channa Dissanayake 

President – Ceylon Bank Employees union 

8. Mr. Robert Francis 

General Secretary – The Ceylon Estate Staff’s Union

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