Workers in Colombo walk out against privatisation

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 March 2003, 19:23 GMT]
Hundreds of workers in state run banks and major public enterprises walked out of their offices in Colombo Wednesday to protest against plans by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Front government to privatise their institutions. The protesting workers also demanded better wages.

Colombo’s effort to sell off cash strapped and loss incurring banks and public enterprises has been running into heavy resistance from powerful trade unions and political parties, including President Kumaratunga’s People’s Alliance (PA), which charge that the UNF regime is selling ‘national economic assets’ according to the “unscrupulous dictates” of the World Bank and the IMF .

Workers protest
Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna, the leader of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP), a pro-peace marxist group, leading a section of the demonstrating wrokers in downtown Colombo Wednesday.



However, in contrast to recent demonstrations against privatisation spearheaded by the Sinhala nationalist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna and the PA, Wednesday’s demonstration did not condemn the peace talks between the Liberation Tigers and Colombo.

The JVP and the PA say that Mr. Wickremesighe’s government is colluding in an “Western imperialist plot to divide Sri Lanka”.

But a spokesman for the organisations behind the protest said that one of the major demands of the workers was to “stabilise the peace in a way that is acceptable to the people of Sri Lanka”.

Workers from the govt. sector including state banks, railway, Govt. press and the health sector launched a token strike and joined a well attended demonstration in Hyde Park, Colombo. The demonstration was jointly organised by the Committee for Pay Hike in the State Sector and Coalition for Safeguarding National Assets and Human Rights. Over 50 trade unions from the govt. as well as private sector participated.


Workers protest
A section of the large gathering of workers at the demonstration and rally in Colombo.

 

Latest 15 Reports
17.05.21 19:23   Photo
Ananthi blames war criminal Silva for blocking collective memorial at Mu'l'livaaykkaal
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=8605