Colombo: Hundreds of trade unions in Sri Lanka have been staging a nationwide protest over the mishandling of the ongoing economic crisis in the country and have called for the immediate resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The work at many state and private institutions was disrupted on Thursday due to the strikes launched by nearly a thousand trade unions demanding the resignation of the President and the government, Colombo Page reported. A protest march that started from the Fort Railway Station with the participation of several trade unions proceeded to the Galle Face People's Struggle Grounds with protesters chanting slogans against the government.
According to reports, more than a thousand protests were held in several major cities around the country. Protests were reported from several towns and cities, including, Matara, Kurunegala, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Chilaw, Kegalle and Gampaha, as well as Katunayake and Koggala.
Large crowds were seen protesting particularly in Matara, Kurunegala, Kandy and Anuradhapura, which have been the centres of protests.
Ravi Kumudesh, the co-convener of the trade unions and mass organizations who joined the protest, said that if the government does not listen to the voice of the people, "a continuous trade union action will be taken in another seven days."
Many schools in the island were closed as teachers and principals too joined the mass strike. Even the officers of the Sri Lanka Administrative Services (SLAS) joined the strike, the report said.
Businesses in Pettah and other parts of the island remained closed. Private bus and train services were also significantly reduced due to bus and train workers supporting the strike.
Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst economic crises resulting in widespread protests against the Rajapaksa family leaders, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a fall in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reckless economic policies, which have resulted in people facing an acute scarcity of food and basic necessities, heating fuel, and gas.