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Crucial sectors to come to a standstill today opposing taxes

08 Feb 2023 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

CEB, Ports, Water Board, Petroleum, Health, Banks, Air Traffic Controllers to join protest 

  • Nearly 40 trade unions to engage in the protest
  • All TUs to gather at Hyde Park Grounds

By Chaturanga Pradeep Samarawickrama   

The collective trade unions, including the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), University Lecturers, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB), several banks, Sri Lanka Air Traffic Controllers Association (SLATCA), Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) threatened to resort to islandwide trade union action today to oppose the government’s new income tax policy, which would lead to a possible cripple in the state sector institutions.  

Nearly 40 trade unions, will engage in the trade union action and most of them will gather at the Hyde Park Ground.  

CEB Trade Union Alliance Convener Ranjan Jayalal told Daily Mirror that they have decided to converge in Colombo after applying for sick leave.  

“All shift routines will not continue, but the person who is on the shift will remain for the next shift. The CEB will have to pay his overtime payments. 

Teams attached to the CEB breakdowns will engage in their duties. All bill payment collection points will come to a standstill, and the CEB will get zero income today,” he said.   
The NWS&DB will engage in trade union actions during their lunch hour. CEB and SLPA employees will engage in slow work throughout the day.   

The GMOA secretary, Dr. Haritha Aluthge, said they will engage in a 24-hour token strike starting today.   

Their token strike will start at 8 a.m.   

“The government is failing to address the shortage of medicines in the country, the increasing number of incidents of corruption and irregularities. The government has neither been flexible nor sensitive towards the issue of the growing brain drain in the country due to the unfair taxation system,” Dr Aluthge said.   

However, essential services, including functions at children’s hospitals, maternity hospitals, and the cancer hospital, will not be disrupted by the token strike, the doctor said.   The GMOA had decided to withdraw from all private medical sectors such as channelling centres and even from engaging in private practices.   

Therefore, the GMOA urged the government to be considerate of the lives of the people and to make much-needed decisions for the benefit of the country’s future.     



Opportunity to discuss short-term strategies on tax policy: Govt

The Finance Ministry, during a discussion, have told the Trade Unions that there was an opportunity to discuss short-term strategies to provide some relief by considering trade union leaders’ and civil organization representatives’ views and suggestions on the new tax system.  

This was conveyed to the Union leaders and representatives of civil organizations by the Director General of the Department of Financial Policy Dr. Kapila Senanayake at the meeting held under the instructions of the President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake on Monday.  

According to President’s Trade Union Director General Saman Ratnapriya, the new tax policy that is assessed at the time of earning has created difficulties for government and semi-government employees. 



It was also made clear that the main goal of this conversation was to gather concepts and recommendations to find solutions to the current issues, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement.