Oct 06, Colombo: A group of trade unions in Sri Lanka has complained to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) about the arrest of trade unionists.
Members of the Coordinating Committee for a Trade Union Alliance have complained to the IGP that several trade unionists who were distributing leaflets outside the Labor Department in Narahenpita were arrested by the police.
The Coordinating Committee has commenced a campaign to create awareness among the working masses about the 21 demands presented by the unions on behalf of the working people in the country to the Finance Ministry to be included in the 2014 budget.
"Our trade union center mediates in all issues confronted by the working masses in the country," the union said.
"The government continues to create an environment that makes it difficult for the working masses. Electricity tariffs were increased arbitrarily. We have begun taking trade union action against burdening the working masses and to win their legitimate rights. As a part of this programme we commenced a campaign on 03.10.2013 to distribute leaflets to appraise masses regarding the 21 demands we have put forward to win from the budget 2014. The programme commenced from Colombo Fort," the committee has stated in its letter to the IGP.
The committee has said that the police have arrested trade union members who were engaged in legal activities.
"We have certain matters that should be clarified. This clarification is necessary for us to prevent such disruptions. They are: 1. Is there a secret law related to police department that prevents distribution of leaflets which is a fundamental right of trade unions? 2. Have certain police officers taken a contract from the government to sabotage distribution of leaflets? 3. Are trade union activities sabotaged and their members attacked due to police officers ignorance of the law of the country? 4. Would you mediate to stop riotous acts of certain police officers that obstruct legal trade union activities?" the committee has asked.