Sri Lanka's railway workers protest in Colombo
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 August 2004, 10:02 GMT]
More than three hundred railway workers demonstrated in Colombo Wednesday against moves by the Sri Lankan government to privatise the railway system in Sri Lanka. The Joint Trade Union Front of Railway Services, which comprises 32 unions, wants Colombo to abolish the Railway Authority Act. Unions say the act is designed to facilitate the privatisation of railways in Sri Lanka. Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which took up the cause of the railway workers stridently when it was in the opposition, did not take part in the raiway workers' protest Wednesday.
The demonstration was in front of the Maradana Railway station in downtown Colombo.
Sri Lanka's Railway Authority employs seventeen thousand workers.
The protesting unions say that thousands of workers would be laid off if Colombo were to proceed with the plan to sell major shares of the railways to private companies.