Lanka govt accuses JVP of inciting violent pension protests
Sri Lankan government accused the opposition JVP of trying to topple President Mahinda Rajapaksa`s administration by exploiting worker discontent over the aborted pensions.
Colombo: The Sri Lankan government on Monday
accused the opposition JVP of trying to topple President
Mahinda Rajapaksa`s administration by exploiting worker
discontent over the aborted pensions bill.
Protests by agitated workers against a proposed
pensions bill in an area on the outskirts of the Sri Lankan
capital turned violent last week leading to the death of a 21
year old factory worker and the government is now blaming the
JVP for inciting the violence.
State Intelligence agencies are currently
investigating after receiving information that thugs had been
utilised during last week`s Free Trade Zone (FTZ) protest to
attack the police and create a violent situation," a statement
The Government said that JVP`s motive to topple the
government using this unfortunate incident was clear.
It said "carrying placards that read `send Mahinda
Rajapaksa home` is clear evidence of JVP`s conspiracy to
topple the government... not to win the rights of the people".
The workers were protesting against the pensions bill
covering the private sector employees which aims to convert
the current trust fund and the provident fund to a smaller
monthly payment of a pension.
The government was forced to withdraw the bill in the
face of stiff opposition.
Rajapaksa said he wanted to introduce the bill as a
welfare measure with employees` rights to the fore and he was
forced to hold it back by the protests.
The protests and the ensuing police firing resulted in
the resignation of the police chief Mahinda Balasuriya and the
arrest of two police officials.
The JVP has led two bloody rebellions against
governments in 1971 and 1989, both ending in brutal state
crackdown on the party.
The last rebellion was directed against Indian moves
on behalf of the Tamil minority and Sri Lankan government`s
`appeasement` of the then Rajiv Gandhi government.
However since 1994, the JVP has contested elections to
win parliamentary representation and its members have even
held ministerial berths in the central government.