Agitations in the estates and in the north coincided with a major protest in Colombo against a government decision to make use of the savings of the working class as a way of coming out of the economic crisis.
Authorities plan to reduce the interest payment on EPF and ETF deposits through a domestic debt restructuring (DDR).
On 28 August, workers at Theresia estate at Bogawantalawa, owned by Harry Jayawardena’s Madolsima Plantations, staged a demonstration against it.
Participating workers questioned the government’s right to swindle their only saving.
It will be like burying them alive if they are robbed of their deposits on which they have their sole hopes for the future, said one protestor.
In Colombo, a joint protest took place in front of the Fort railway station by trade unions, civil society organizations and political parties.
Earlier, courts issued a prohibition order to the protestors from entering certain locations.
A letter by a group of young journalists to the Human Rights Commission asked that its officials be deployed to monitor the protest.
Call to monitor protest
It noted the police violently dispersed several previous demonstrations to repress the rights of the workers.
Observers should monitor the protest to see if any rights are violated and should make recommendations if violations do take place, it added.
The commission did not say if it had done any monitoring of the protest.
A similar demonstration took place in front of the Jaffna Kachcheri.
Publicfinance.lk has reported that Sri Lanka is the only among 14 countries that carried out DDR in the past 25 years to have exempted banks and private lenders, while targeting social security funds.