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Sri Lanka: Hundreds of estate workers protest in capital Colombo today to demand wage revision

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In Sri Lanka, hundreds of estate workers took out a protest in capital Colombo today to demand wage revision. The protesters, carrying placards and shouting slogans, had gathered at Galle face grounds and later blocked few roads in the city to press for their demands.

The workers coming from Nuwara Eliya, Badulla and several other estates are demanding that their basic daily wage be increased from existing 530 to 1,000 Sri lankan rupees. The estate owners union had agreed to increase the daily pay to 900 Lankan rupees which was rejected by the workers union.

Earlier, the protests were held in several parts of central and Uva province where most of the tea estates are located. Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake has said that the cost of production, productivity and profitability does not justify the demand.

However, ministers representing the workers have supported the demand and called for government intervention to solve the problem. Most of the tea estate workers are Tamils of Indian origin, who were settled by British in early twentieth century.