The country has lost its income from the upcountry population, which is the main reason for the country’s current situation, General Secretary of the Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union, Vadivel Suresh said.
He noted that the upcountry community has made significant contributions to the national economy.
“However, the upcountry people are currently struggling and the major cause of the problems they are experiencing is the Government’s reckless decisions. However, in order to meet our demands, we will speak as one nation,” he said.
He went on to say that the President and Prime Minister should resign in order to change the country’s current situation.
“We oppose the current Government, and citizens throughout the country are staging protests to express their dissatisfaction over the crisis and the Government. As a result, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) will begin a protest against the current government today (26) in Kandy and will travel to Colombo on 1 May via Kadugannawa, Mawanella, Avissawella, and Kelani. We need answers to all of our demands by 1 May, and if we don’t, an islandwide hartal will be launched across the country on 6 May,” Suresh said.
He pointed out that people in the upcountry are currently forced to purchase a kg of wheat flour for Rs 260.
“Generally, in order to survive a day, they will need at least 5 kg of wheat flour and now that will cost around Rs 1,300. However, the daily wage which they earn through the plantation work is Rs 730, which is not even enough to buy the needed wheat flour. The people have no way of surviving and this situation needs to be changed to uplift the lives of the general public,” he said.
Furthermore, the trade unions in the island have organised a token strike on 28 April and as a union, we will participate in that, he said.
By Eunice Ruth