Foreign investments at risk – FTZ Union

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The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZ Union) criticised the Government for allowing the armed forces to respond with provocative violent acts on the protesters recently, adding that such breach of orderly rule has already resulted in uncertainty and instability, posing a serious risk of losing opportunities for foreign investment and future orders for the apparel sector.

“We must reluctantly issue a warning that such developments will negatively impact the nation’s foreign exchange earnings and result in the loss of thousands of job chances,” Joint Secretary of the FTZ Union Anton Marcus said.

Marcus said a Government should exercise power within the legal framework and in an orderly disciplinary manner. “We have warned previously too of anarchy that would occur when such orderly discipline is breached.”

In such a scenario, continuous agitations to change the leadership of government would not provide people facing serious economic inconveniences and hardships with any answers to their major day-to-day living. People in their thousands joined protests during the past three months to oust the President and Prime Minister on the belief, their lifetime grievances would be sorted out when the struggle is won.

Yet they still remain with their problems aggravating and with no answers in sight. What the majority of the people who are exhausted with daily power interruptions, breakdown of public transport, total disruption of school education during the past two years, endless queuing up for fuel and gas, shortage of most essential medication, lack of essential commodities with thousands of families left semi-starved due to skyrocketing of prices, need immediately is economic relief for their burning issues.

The FTZ union has proposed under the circumstances that the government should be effectively lobbied to implement an economic recovery programme that would provide essential goods as a subsidy to the poor and to those who have lost employment and income generation opportunities due to this economic crisis. “We see the necessity of an active social movement to have such a programme implemented. Therefore, we stress the urgent need to convene a National Convention that would include the participation of trade unions, professional organisations, farmer and fishermen’s organisations, chambers of commerce, and also representations from the informal economic sector,” Marcus said. 

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan