TUs urge public to protest peacefully

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Joint Convener of the Hartal Comittee of the Trade Union Coalition, Ravi Kumudesh, urged the public to act with non-violence and refrain from destroying public property during the islandwide Hartal on Friday (6).

Kumudesh yesterday (3) said people may have seen images of the Hartal in 1953 in which public property was destroyed. “But this is a non-violent method of protest introduced by Mahathma Gandhi. We only aim to force the Rajapaksa family and the Government to step down. The public can put up black flags, stage protests on the roads nearest to their homes, not report to duty, while those in essential services could dress in black or stage protests at their workplaces, etc.”.  He said a meeting had been held yesterday (3) morning with the participation of a large number of trade unions, including those in railway, private bus sector, postal, health and banking.

“There were also several civil organisations present at the meeting. All in all, other than the medical officers, all trade unions were present at the meeting”.    Kumudesh said the unions had decided on staging only a token Hartal campaign in consideration of the difficulties of the public. “But if the Rajapaksa Government fails to listen to the demands of the people, then the only option would be to launch a continuous strike from 11 May.”

By Dilanthi Jayamanne