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Over 250 trade unions on sick leave, disrupting public services

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More than 250 Trade Unions in Sri Lanka’s Public Sector will be on sick leave today (9), potentially crippling public services nationwide.

These include Public Management, Development Officers, Drivers, and Office Staff among other organizations.

Their primary demand is to receive an increased allowance of Rs. 25,000, as given to executive officers.

This trade union action caused significant disruptions to the operations of government departments and ministries yesterday.

Meanwhile, the general secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Joseph Starling, said the teachers and principals will engage in a sick leave protest today.

General Secretary of the University Non-Academic Employee’s Union, Ajith K. Thilakarathne said that the University Non-Academic Employee’s Union will also engage in trade union action by calling in sick, today.

The strike by non-academic university staff marks its 70th day today.

Their demands include an increase in monthly allowances and a reversal of a 15% salary anomaly.

Meanwhile, postal workers continue their strike for the second day today, demanding to recruit staff for vacancies at the Department of Posts, to provide permanent positions for non-permanent staff employees, and several other reasons.

Over 20,000 postal workers across Sri Lanka’s 4,700 post offices and sub-offices are engaging in this trade union action.

United Postal Trade Union Front claims that this strike has resulted in the closure of 90% of post offices across the island.

Co-Convener of the United Postal Trade Union Front, H. A. R Nihal warned that they will resort to a continuous strike if their demands are not met.

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(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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MP Ali Sabri Raheem released on bail (Update)

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Puttalam District MP Ali Sabry Raheem has been granted bail after being produced before the Puttalam Magistrate’s Court today (July 20).

The Puttalam Acting Magistrate has ordered the MP to be released on a surety bail of Rs. 200,000 and also to appear before court on 22 July.


(Previous News on 20th July, 2024 at 11:51am)

MP Ali Sabri arrested

Puttalam District MP Ali Sabri Raheem was arrested by Kalpitiya police earlier today (20). 

The parliamentarian, against whom a warrant had been issued recently, had appeared before the Kalpitiya Police this morning (20), after which he was arrested, police said.

Police said that he will be produced before the court today.

In March, the Puttalam District MP was suspended from Parliament for a period of one month, after a resolution proposing the suspension of Raheem from parliamentary proceedings was approved in the Parliament.

Raheem was embroiled in controversy last year after he was detained at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo along with a stock of undeclared gold and mobile phones.

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Teachers and principals to work to rule for two weeks starting Monday

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The Teacher-Principal Trade Union Alliance has announced that the work-to-rule campaign will begin for two weeks starting Monday, as previously decided.

The Alliance stated that this action is due to the failure of negotiations held yesterday (19), which included Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, Treasury officials, Public Service Commission officials, and others.

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105 killed in Bangladesh protests; nationwide curfew imposed

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At least 105 people have been killed in Bangladesh as police cracked down on unrelenting student-led protests against govt job quotas despite a ban on public gatherings.

The govt has decided to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy the army.

Earlier in the day, telecommunications were disrupted and television news channels went off the air.

Authorities had cut some mobile telephone services the previous day to try to quell the unrest. 

According to reports, police and security officials fired bullets and tear gas at protesters and banned all gatherings in the capital Dhaka. 

The protests, which began weeks ago but escalated sharply this week, represent the biggest challenge to PM Sheikh Hasina since she won a fourth consecutive term in office after the January polls.

The government has deployed police and paramilitary forces across the capital to lock down campuses and break up protests. 

On Wednesday, universities including the country’s largest suspended classes and closed dormitories, and on Friday police in Dhaka said they were banning all gatherings and demonstrations in the capital. 

According to foreign media, border guard officials fired at a crowd of more than 1,000 protesters who had gathered outside the head office of state-run Bangladesh Television, which was attacked on Thursday. 

The border guards shot at the crowd with rifles and sound grenades, while police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Bullets littered the streets, which were also marked by smears of blood. 

Internet services and mobile data were widely disrupted on Thursday night and remained down on Friday in the capital, Dhaka. 

Social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp were also not loading. A statement from the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said they were unable to ensure service after their data center was attacked by demonstrators, who set fire to equipment. 

Student protesters said they will extend their calls to impose a shutdown on Friday, and urged mosques to hold funeral prayers for those who have been killed.

Source: Times Of India

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