Unions demand halt to privatisation moves

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 20:20 GMT]
Hundreds workers from state owned banks, insurance and petroleum corporations and members of trade unions aligned to the Sinhala nationalist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) demonstrated Tuesday against the United Front Government's plans to privatise public institutions that have become a heavy burden on the island's cash strapped economy. The demonstration at Lipton Circus, a busy intersection in the heart of the city, was organised by the JVP backed All Ceylon Trade Union Federation.

The JVP and its powerful trade unions say that thousands of workers would be jobless if the large state owned corporations are sold to private companies.

A spokesman for the trade union federation charged that the UNF has become the IMF’s puppet and "is paving the way for global capital to squeeze the country's wealth out." Meanwhile the JVP dominated Inter University Students’ Federation declared the coming week as "protest week."

The Students' Federation has called a national conference on 25 August to oppose the UNF regime's moves to privatise university administrations.

JVP protestors in Colombo


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