Unemployed graduates protest at Fort

Unemployed graduates protest at Fort

Written by Staff Writer

13 Feb, 2019 | 10:18 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse a group of unemployed graduates who launched a protest in Colombo Fort.

The protest was organized by the Graduate National Centre based on several demands, suggesting the employment of the jobless graduates and that it be included in the budget document which is to be presented on March 5th.

Chandana Suriyaarachchi, convener of the Graduate National Centre shared the demands with the journalists during the protest.

He asked the authorities to allocate adequate grants to employ sixty thousand unemployed graduates. He also asked to stop the external and internal downsizing and to change the age limit from 35 to 45 when recruiting graduates. He also asked to avoid political influence when appointing state employees and appoint them respectively to their graduation years. He threatened that if these demands were not met the protest will escalate to an islandwide rebellion.

Consequently, unemployed graduates marched towards the Presidential Secretariat on Lotus Road with the intention of handing over an epistle.

The Police obstructed their attempt by forming barricades on the road opposite the Presidential Secretariat.

When the protesters tried to remove the barricades and enter the Presidential Secretariat premises, the Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

When the situation was pacified ten representatives were allowed to enter the premises to meet the Chief of Staff for a discussion.

According to the Graduate National Convener, Chandana Suriyaarachchi the two-hour long discussion was futile and he added that they would continue the protests until their demands are met even it costs their lives.

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