Arrests follow postal strike

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Three of the ten Sri Lankan postal trade union leaders arrested by the Police last night as the Sri Lankan government declared the postal service an essential service were interrogated today by the Criminal Investigation Department. The other leaders are being held at different Police stations for security reasons said Police sources.

The SLA which was deployed last night at key postal department premises last night is prepared to face any situation they said.

A Police team under a Deputy Inspector General of Police has been deployed to prevent possible damage to government property by the protesting workers.

The JVP (The People's Liberation Front) and several trade unions issued statements condemning the government's action and demanding the immediate release of the arrested postal union workers.

The UNP, the main opposition party, however, did not issue an official statement but told the press that it disapproves of the government's move.

Meanwhile two more powerful trade unions, The Ceylon Mercantile Union and the Ceylon Bank Employees Union, met today to discuss action to support the protest campaign of the postal workers.

If these unions decide on coming out actively in support of the UPTO (Union of Postal and Telecommunications Organisations) then the problem can spread to other key sectors of the economy said Police sources this evening.

Postal workers vowed, as hectic behind the scene moves were on to resolve the crisis, to continue with their protest until the demands are met and their trade union leader are released.

They said they will not compromise on the demand that the government should sack forthwith the Post Master General Mrs.Soma Kotakadeniya who precipitated the crisis by sending a Police party to forcibly remove mail bags from the central mail sorting office in Colombo.

The PMG is the wife of the senior DIG for Colombo who was condemned by Tamil politicians for his anti-Tamil statements and actions two years ago.

 

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