Wage Struggle in the Plantations

Press Release
1st October 2016

Comrade SK Senthivel, General Secretary of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued the following statement on behalf of the Party Politburo on the plantation workers’ struggle for a fair wage.

The decision of the plantation workers after a long wait to take to the streets to press their demand for a daily wage of Rs 1000 is not only just but also welcome. The workers, having realized the futility of relying on their trade union and parliamentary political leaders, decided on their own to take to the streets. The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party while supporting and welcoming the spontaneous street demonstrations for wage increase points out that it is necessary for workers as a whole to transcend differences relating to trade union and political party affiliation to unite and carry forward the struggle in an organized manner through setting up a campaign committee for wage increase.

It is entirely just that the plantation workers, who are the lowest paid category of daily wage earners, have launched a struggle for a daily wage of Rs 1000, something which the plantation owners have continuously rejected in the negotiations for the Collective Agreement. This stubborn refusal by the Employers Federation more than one and a half years since the last Collective agreement lapse is deplorable. It is a matter of concern that the Good Governance regime is indifferently silent on the matter and the plantation trade union leadership adopts a complaisant attitude. It is in such context that the struggle launched by the workers is just and necessary. Hence, the Party urges organizing the street demonstrations as firm struggles and announces its participation.

SK Senthivel
General Secretary

Drug Shortage in Nuwara Eliya

Press Release
1st August 2016

Comrade V Mahendran, National Organizer of the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued the following statement on the shortage of drugs and prevalent abuses in the Public Health Department of the Nuwara Eliya District.

Severe shortage exists in the public health sector in the Nuwara Eliya District for eighty varieties of drugs, including paediatric medication, vitamins and medicines for expectant mothers. The problem is especially acute in the Base Hospital under the purview of Health Department of the Nuwara Eliya District and in the Health Centres and Maternity Centres of the plantation sector. Health care for children and expectant mothers is totally neglected in the health centres and maternity centres in the plantations of the District. During the past several months polio vaccine and other vaccines for infants have not been administered in time. Delays have exceeded days and weeks to be months; and other drugs too have not been available when due.

Mothers and pregnant women who visit the centres to obtain medication suffer undue inconvenience. Provision of nutritional food like ‘Triposha’ under the balanced food programme for expectant mothers is not implemented properly in the plantations. Mother and Child Welfare Programmes are either not implemented or are done improperly. Mothers and expectant women have to travel long distances to get children vaccinated and for medical examination. Late arrival of doctors and nurses and failure to provide the necessary treatment and supply the necessary medication cause undue difficulties.

Thousands of patients who visit the Nuwara Eliya Base Hospital daily; they complain that they are forced to purchase the necessary medication in private pharmacies.

The statement of the ministry of Health denying drug shortage and blaming administrative irregularities in the Health Department of Nuwara Eliya District for the shortages is deplorable, and the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party strongly denounces it and urges the Ministry of Health to act to resolve immediately the problem of drug shortages and poor service in the health sector of Nuwara Eliya.

V Mahendran
National Organizer

Violence in the University of Jaffna

Press Release
19th July 2016

Comrade S.K Senthivel, General Secretary, New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party issued the following statement on behalf of the Politburo of the Party condemning the violent clashes between students in the University of Jaffna on 16th July 2016.

The violent clashes between students of the University three days ago and the consequent injuries are regrettable as well as deplorable. It is important to determine whether this meaningless violence was pre-planned with ulterior motive or accidental. Attempts in the North and the South to blow up this incident out of all proportion should be arrested immediately. The Party thus urges that amicability and understanding based on goodwill are restored soon within the student community.

It is unethical for students in the field of higher studies to indulge in petty rivalries and narrow-minded assertion of superiority leading to clashes and injury. Woes of the economic crisis are hurting students in universities and other institutions of higher education who are also affected by the erroneous educational policies. The Party points out that students who need to stand together and speak in one voice in this context should realize that it is in no way correct to yield to nationalist emotion on trivial issues and indulge in clashes.

SK Senthivel
General Secretary

Public Meeting of Activists for Democracy

Press Release
6h September 2016

Comrade S.K Senthivel, General Secretary, New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party made the following announcement on behalf of the Party.
A public meeting of Activists for Democracy will be held at the auditorium of the Hindu Youth Association, located close to the Thirunelveli Junction on the forthcoming Saturday 10th September 2016. The meeting of Activists for Democracy has been jointly organized by the New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party, the United Socialist Party, the Frontline Socialist Party along with left, democratic and progressive trade unions.

The organizers have announced that the purpose of the meeting was to enhance public awareness of the current economic, political and social issues by through reiterating demands for the granting of political rights of the people of the North and East, the release of all political prisoners, provision of due answers regarding ‘disappeared’ persons, return of seized land, houses and work places to the people and granting of citizenship to all political activists denied of that right.

It is also significant that such meetings are being held across the country.

SK Senthivel
General Secretary

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