Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

No weapons for planters, but NSC will take up their security concerns

- By Chris Kamalendra­n

The Government will not issue more weapons or provide weapons training to the plantation sector management, but instead will take up their security concerns at a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday, a minister said.

Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekar­a told

that providing more weapons could lead to more unrest among workers and would cause a security risk.

The minister's comments came as the plantation sector management appealed for more security including weapons training to ensure their safety in the wake of protests and violent attacks on their staff.

The planters held a protest this week in Hatton demanding more security.

The minister, however, said that at Tuesday's NSC meeting, they hoped to take up the concerns raised by the regional plantation companies to ensure that security was provided to the estate management.

A Planters Society spokesman said they had requested additional training to use firearms to ensure their security in the estate sector.

However, State Minister and Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader Jeewan Thondaman has expressed concern about providing weapons to the plantation sector management and called on plantation bosses to respect the rightful demands of the workers.

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