Oct 20, Colombo: Trade unions affiliated with the opposition political parties in Sri Lanka staged a massive protest demonstration on Monday to demand a Rs. 10,000 pay hike for the state sector workers.
The protesters representing several trade unions including the National Trade Union Center gathered in front of the Fort Railway Station in downtown Colombo and marched towards the main road blocking the traffic on Olcott Mawatha.
Carrying placards and shouting slogans the protesters demanded the government to grant a pay hike in the next year budget instead of providing piecemeal allowances which, they say, would be taken away by the government later.
Chairman of Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) affiliated Inter Company Employees' Union Wasantha Samarasinghe said the working masses cannot be fooled by the budget when it is presented on October 24.
He said the government should be ready to go home at the next presidential election if the workers' demands are not heeded.
JVP Western Provincial Councilor K.D. Lalkantha charged that the government has found another excuse with the EU court decision on LTTE. He said the decision was taken by a lower EU court and the government can appeal the decision to the higher court.
"Instead, the government is trying to recreate fear so they can obtain votes at the election," he said adding that the government's ploy would not work this time.