Written by Nathasha De Alwis
09 May, 2018 | 12:59 am
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Police used water cannons today (May 8) to disperse a protest by unemployed graduates who were demanding jobs.
The Joint Unemployed Graduates’ Union launched the protest march this morning from Fort, Colombo demanding job opportunities in the public sector. Police took measures to close lotus road and obstruct the march from proceeding and at the same time, heavy traffic was experienced in the area.
When the protesting unemployed graduates attempted to break through police barricades, Police used high-pressure water cannons to disperse them. Thereafter five representatives from the Joint Unemployed Graduates’ Union were permitted to discuss their issue with officials from the Presidential Secretariat.
As these talks failed, the protesters moved away from Lotus Road and converged at the road leading to the Parliamentary Complex in Kotte.
Around 8000 to 10,000 graduates enter the unemployed cluster annually. The ever-growing number of unemployed graduates in Sri Lanka for a period of six years since 2012 has reached 57,000. In April this year applications were called to recruit 20,000 graduates as Samurdhi Officers, however, this process has come under strong criticism as well.
In addition, the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union launched a work to rule campaign citing failed talks with authorities over their issues. Railway Trade Unions were prepared to go on strike from midnight today (May 8).
Members of the University Non-Academic Staff have also threatened to go on strike once again citing the solutions promised for their issues have not been met as yet.
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