Written By NAFSO on Monday, May 04, 2009 | 2:52:00 PM
The world famous day May day or we called it International Worker’s Day this time celebrated in eastern province with an attendance of more than 600 farmers, fishers, women and youth groups representing from 12 district in Sri Lanka as they are member organization of NAFSO. And some other organization including Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR), Women Development Centre, Community Resource Protection centre, and SAVISTHREE women organization gave their participation at this moment.
People marched around two KM with vast posters, banners and slogans demanding their labour rights from the government and some of them were specially war affected women too.
After Ending the people’s rally the participated leaders express their views on international Workers day it’s history and also they didn’t forget to mention how to gather for their rights.
The national convener of NAFSO addressed there gathered people and According to Herman Kumara ,
“The fish worker communities are one of the most unorganized, informal sectors in the country.
The way of life, area of fishing, the fishing gears they use make them divided very badly. Bringing the various types of fishing is very difficult task at this moment.
Bringing them together as one of strong working force is very difficult task as they are practicing a competitive job for their survival.”
Further he added saying that, however, not like any other working force, fishers do not have proper recognition as workers till 2007. The ILO has passed a new instrument to recognize fishers as fish workers under the " ILO convention on fishing Standards-2007" for the safety and the rights of the fish workers on fishing vessels.
The importance is it recognizes fishers as fish workers.
Which give the legal entity to demand the workers rights along with the other workers in the working class?
We as NAFSO, together with the World Forum of Fisher Peoples'[WFFP], took the necessary steps to pass the convention at the ILO level which was not a success in 2005.
Now, as fish worker organizations, we are working for ratifying the convention by the national governments. After the ratification only any of the organization can demand to enact local legislation to support and ensure workers rights under the ILO convention.
So far, even after 2 years time of the convention, SL government have not taken any step to ratify the convention.
This May day 2009, we demand the government to ratify the ILO fishing standards convention and recognize the fish workers rights and enact relevent legislations for ensure the rights of the fish workers.
The present president had been the Labour minister of the country, who tried to introduce workers charter to the country which was blocked at the time of Chandrika Bandaranaike regime, can bring the same charter again while supporting to the ILO fishing Standard convention to ensure the rights of the fish workers in the contry.
We demand SL president to do this and prove his credibility and his commitment, if there is any as the executive president of Sri Lanka.
We celebrate the May Day at Pothuwil, in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka where the So called liberated area of the country and extend the solidarity of fishers with the workers, farmers, plantation workers and women to build up a force for independent political movement for the working class in the country.
NAFSO, urges to the working class to unite and come forward to prevent any of the violent action for the freedom of the people. Bringing the united working force to face the challenges of the globalization and the so called fighting agaisnt terror, which justify crush and destroying any political struggle against opression.
We will be working to bridge the gap between the North and the South people and work to build up a country with humanity to live all people with respect and human dignity.
Our strong involvement on this May day to extend our solidarity with all the oppressed and Marginalized communities to unite and continue our struggle till we achieve our goals, a peaceful and prosperous country.
Long Live working class.
Long Live People's solidarity.
Long Live Poor and Marginalized communities.