Sri Lanka tax-spender hopefuls to launch more protests

ECONOMYNEXT – Graduates educated at tax-payer expense in state universities are expected to launch a protest if Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister does not give into a demand to be tax-spenders for life with a government job, a media report said.

Convener of the Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG), Dammika Munasinghe was quoted as saying there were more than 20,000 graduates who want public sector jobs.

"We protested demanding employment on Nov. 16 in Colombo and wanted to march up to the Prime Minister’s office, but the police blocked our path," the newspaper quoted Munasinghe as saying.

"We will start sathyagrahas (sit down protests) in every district from January if the discussion fails and expect to hold a massive protest in Colombo in February."

The Prime Minister’s office had agreed for a meeting this week but Munasinghe had said that there was no need for any more discussions and the government should provide graduates with jobs immediately.

Sri Lanka’s unemployed graduates have developed to a fine art, a scheme to demand jobs in the state sector and take people’s taxes home by becoming tax spenders for life.

Sri Lanka public sector is already overstaffed and their salary bill is the main burden on society that is preventing the country from moving forward and forcing the government to borrow money for infrastructure.

The demand for taxes to take home as salaries and pensions by graduates whose degrees were also funded by tax-payer comes as people with lower levels of qualifications, including carpenters, masons, paper delivery people, work productively without being a burden to society.

It is not clear from which universities the unemployed graduates have passed out. Graduates from universities such as Moratuwa are now even setting up start-up companies to create jobs for others.

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(Colombo/Dec26/2015

 

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