Protestors block the streets of Colombo citing demands

Protestors block the streets of Colombo citing demands

Written by Staff Writer

30 Jan, 2020 | 9:36 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st):- Protests were held opposite the Presidential Secretariat citing several demands. The protests took place in the wake of the government’s request seeking the support of all protesters in resolving their issues.

Certain groups claiming that they had lost their jobs in the state sector since the new government came into power carried out protests opposite the Presidential Secretariat expecting justice to be served upon them. Employees who were attached to the Department of Archaeology, Department of Rural Development and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation engaged in these protests.

Representatives of these groups were given an opportunity to discuss the matter at the Presidential Secretariat. However, the discussions which lasted for about an hour ended in a stalemate.

Thereafter, the groups staged their protest by blocking the Galle Road near the Presidential Secretariat.

Meanwhile, university students also staged a protest opposite the University Grants Commission today (January 30).  The protest was centred around several matters including the cancellation of the Technology Degree and depriving students of the Mahapola scholarship. The students also then proceeded towards the Presidential Secretariat. A few representatives were then permitted to discuss this matter with officials at the Presidential Secretariat.

Due to these protests, heavy traffic was reported near the Lake House Roundabout, Lotus Roundabout, and several other areas in Colombo.

Even as of now, our reporters say that the protestors are continuing to stay at the location. With the protestors hampering vehicular movement in the evening, a tense situation erupted.

Meanwhile speaking to News 1st, Convenor of the Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates, Venerable Tenne Gnanananda Thero said:

“On the 22nd, we handed over a memorandum to the President at the Presidential Secretariat seeking to resolve the issues of unemployed graduates within a week. Yesterday, we went to the Presidential Secretariat and discussed with Additional Secretary Rohana Abeyratne on when this issue could be resolved. We were told that this would be put forward to the cabinet seeking a supplementary estimate. What was expected to be resolved by the 1st of January is being dragged throughout this month? We will stop our struggle only after receiving our appointment letters. Therefore, don’t drag this problem by telling us stories about cabinet approvals. They are telling us that they will give appointments from the 1st of March. This day is dangerous. Does it mean that this is a lucky month for the government? March falls in the election period.”

Continuing the Thero said: “Attempts are being made to drag this problem until the parliamentary election and to sweep it under the carpet afterwards. We do not need newspaper announcements, press releases, and letters from the presidential secretariat. What we need are appointment letters. Some are giving us cake, plain tea, milk and holding talks with us. But there are other incidents. I am attached to the Bowatte Temple in Balangoda. The Grama Niladhari officer in our area has been asked by the Police to provide details regarding me. The Police have also visited the houses of activists in the Uva province and several other areas informing them to keep their children safe. This cannot be done.”

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