HomeNewsUnions in Sri Lanka Mobilize for General Strike Amid Economic Crisis

Unions in Sri Lanka Mobilize for General Strike Amid Economic Crisis

Unions in Sri Lanka Mobilize for General Strike Amid Economic Crisis

On Wednesday, workers in Sri Lanka went on a general strike to protest against the sharp increase in income and electricity taxes. Employees in sanitation, railways, ports, and other public services participated in the strike, which hampered the functioning of the country’s public hospitals. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists suspended outpatient consultations. The railways operated fewer trains, and armed soldiers guarded the carriages and train stations to prevent any potential sabotage.

The unions stated that the increased taxes and electricity prices have impacted the population significantly. They have requested the government to reverse IMF-backed reforms, revoke the recently increased progressive tax regime, lower interest rates, and reduce electricity prices. The unions have also threatened to extend the strike indefinitely if the government fails to meet their demands.

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Citizens of Sri Lanka have expressed their concerns about the situation. The increased cost of living and decreased salaries have made it difficult for many people. Colombo taxi drivers claimed that last year, gasoline was cheap, but now it’s expensive. Similarly, a resident of Nanuoya municipality expressed that two years ago, they spent only 20% of their salary on electricity, but now it has increased to 60%, which is hard to manage.

Sri Lanka is facing a challenge with a high foreign debt of almost $7 billion due this year. The country’s total external debt is over $51 billion, of which $28 billion is to be repaid before 2027. Sri Lanka is currently waiting for the approval of a package of measures from the IMF to aid its economy.

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Overall, the situation in Sri Lanka is concerning for its citizens and the government. The country needs to develop a comprehensive plan to address the economic challenges it is facing, balancing the interests of the people and the country’s long-term fiscal viability. The government and unions need to work closely to find solutions that ensure the standard of living does not decline, and the economy remains stable.

News Desk
News Desk
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