Shutdown called by Sri Lankan opposition has little impactJuly 10th, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS
Colombo, July 10 (IANS) A nationwide shutdown called by the Sri Lankan opposition Thursday to demand an increase in salaries of public and private sector workers as well as postponement of provincial elections seemed to have little impact on the island nation. The shutdown was called by the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which is demanding that the government raise the salaries of public and private sector workers by Rs.5,000 in view of the rising cost of living.
It is also demanding the postponement of elections in Sabaragamuwa and North-Central provinces, full implementation of the 17th amendment and reduction of the number of ministers in the central council to 35 from 105.
The main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are also supporting the shutdown.
JVP’s trade union leader K.D. Lalkantha Wednesday claimed that the strike by over 800 trade unions affiliated to the party “would cripple transport and healthcare services and hit power and water supply”.
However, public transportation in the national capital was not affected by the shutdown and there were no reports of untoward incidents.
Accusing the government of threatening and harassing public sector employees to prevent them from taking part in the trade union activities, the JVP warned that the party would take “more drastic action next week” if the government doesn’t meet its demands.
Defence ministry spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters Wednesday that “while the government acknowledged the rights of workers to resort to strikes, it would not hesitate to take stern action to prevent illegal demonstrations, which may violate the law”.
Describing the shutdown as “politically motivated”, Rambukwella claimed it was an attempt by some political parties to bring the military, which is engaged in fighting the Tamil Tigers in the north, to the southern part of the country.
- Police, protesters clash in Sri Lanka - Feb 17, 2012
- Trinamool government pursuing undemocratic policies: CPI-M - Feb 11, 2012
- Keep away from Feb 28 strike, Mamata tells unorganised sector - Feb 25, 2012
- Prabhakaran should be tried in Sri Lanka, says parties - Jan 20, 2009
- Nationwide trade union strike begins, to hit key sectors - Feb 28, 2012
- Trade union strike evokes mixed response in Andhra - Feb 28, 2012
- WikiLeaks: Sri Lanka imported radio equipment for LTTE - Jan 08, 2011
- Pre-poll violence mars election campaigns in Sri Lanka - Aug 21, 2008
- Labour strike to cripple key sectors of Indian economy (Lead) - Feb 27, 2012
- A strike call that has galvanised the Mamata government (West Bengal Newsletter) - Feb 26, 2012
- Sri Lankan Tamil party seeks support to form eastern province government - Sep 09, 2012
- Sri Lanka provincial polls register high voter turnout (Lead) - Aug 23, 2008
- Strike cripples life in Tripura - Feb 28, 2012
- Labour strike to paralyse banking, transport services Tuesday - Feb 27, 2012
- Sri Lanka's ruling coalition sweeps provincial poll (Lead) - Apr 26, 2009
Tags: 17th amendment, central provinces, defence ministry, drastic action, government doesn, island nation, janatha, jvp, national alliance, postponement, private sector workers, provincial elections, public sector employees, sabaragamuwa, stern action, tamil tigers, trade union leader, trade unions, united national party, unp