Sri Lanka: Fears grow over missing trade unionist

M Sujeewa Mangala.

A trade union leader who has been in the forefront of industrial action for more than a month against Sri Lanka’s main telecommunications provider has gone missing after court orders banning protests led by his union.

The wife of M Sujeewa Mangala, the vice-president of the All Ceylon Telecommunication Employees’ Union, has lodged a complaint at a police station in the Colombo suburbs that her husband did not come home on December 29 as expected.

Telecommunication workers have been on strike since December 26 for job security. Trade union sources say Mangala left the capital Colombo on December 29, travelling by motorbike. His wife told Piliyandala police that the trade union leader last called her around 1am to say that he would be at home around 2am.

Telecommunication workers who are temporary employees contracted by SLT Human Capital Solutions Pvt Ltd are calling upon authorities to give them permanent employment.

Of nearly 8000 workers at Sri Lanka Telecom, at least 2100 employees are on temporary contracts. Some have been in temporary employment for seven years.

[Abridged from Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka.]

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