Sri Lankan workers fight exploitation

This is a United Nations video about Sri Lankan tea plantation workers.

From British daily News Line:

Saturday, 5 September 2009


SRI LANKAN tea workers, some 400,000 strong, are mainly Tamil women workers, who work for around £1 a day and live, along with their families, in crude lineshacks which have absolutely no amenities and which were constructed in the 19th century by British imperialism.

Their wages are not enough to feed their families or pay for the medicines that their health care requires, and such are the harsh conditions of life, most families have at least one member who is seriously ill.

The cost of living and surviving, far exceed their wages, so they are permanently in debt to moneylenders – a debt which increases every week and becomes unrepayable – a huge millstone around the neck of every family.

In inverse proportion to their oppression and poverty is the riches that they have created for the owners of the tea plantations, the British and other capitalists.

Now their unions have begun a struggle to try to double their wages to just over £2 a day, by not allowing tea to leave the plantations.

They will be opposed by the Rajapakse regime and its armed forces who, using their anti-terror laws, can jail anybody using trumped up charges.

The teaworkers have the support of the Sri Lankan working class who section by section, from garment workers to power workers, are being drawn into the struggle to defend their jobs, and to win wage rises in a situation of rising inflation, and a growing number of bankruptcies which threaten themselves and their families.

They must also have the support of the British workers. The TUC Congress must carry an emergency motion to fully support their struggle and give practical support, including making big financial donations to the cause. …

Sri Lanka already has a massive debt. This will be added to by Rajapakse’s decision to increase the manning of the army by 50 per cent to 300,000. With the [Tamil] Tigers defeated the working class is the target.

A humanitarian catastrophe has been escalating over the last three months in the internment camps in which 285,000 Tamil civilians have been imprisoned in the north of Sri Lanka: here.

Sri Lanka orders Unicef official to leave. James Elder loses diplomatic status after speaking out on plight of Tamils in government-run camps: here.

Why has Britain funded Sri Lankan detention camps? Here.

The Sri Lanka government announced it will “resettle” hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians held in detention camps since mid-May, but they are being moved into what amounts to a permanent military occupation and subjected to prison-like restrictions: here.

High street British brands are being accused of exploiting factory garment workers in Asia by failing to pay them enough to live off in a report published today: here.

Anti-poverty campaigners exposed on Friday the appalling conditions of tea workers at the Powai Tea estate plantation in Bengal: here.

3 thoughts on “Sri Lankan workers fight exploitation

  1. Sri Lanka: Brian Senewiratne on the humanitarian crisis facing the
    Tamil people

    October 22, 2009 — In September 2008, the government of Sri Lanka
    ordered all aid agencies (including the UN agencies) to leave the
    “northern war zone” — inhabited by Tamils — of Sri Lanka. Socialist
    Alliance member Brian Senewiratne explains the history of Sri Lanka and
    the attacks on the oppressed Tamil people of the north and east.

    * Read more


  2. Socialist Party of Malaysia: `Stop collusion with Sri Lankan govt!
    Stop repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees!

    By Dr. Jeyakumar Devaraj
    October 22, 2009 — The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is concerned
    for the safety and wellbeing of the 207 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who
    are being held at the Immigration Detention Centre at the Kuala Lumpar
    International Airport (KLIA), as well as the 108 Sri Lankan refugees
    detained at the Pekan Nanas Immigration Detention Centre.

    * Read more


  3. Pingback: United States ‘liberal hawk’ Samantha Power praises Sri Lankan human rights violators | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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