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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Sri Lanka: police raids against CWC leaders

[b]Sri Lanka: police raids against CWC leaders[/b]

By S. Jayanth – World Socialist Web Site

Two police raids against the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) in the past three weeks appear to be part of a political operation by the newly elected President Mahinda Rajapakse to split the party and gain the support of some of its MPs to shore up his weak minority government.

The police actions also will be exploited to intimidate tea estate workers, who are one of the most oppressed layers of the Sri Lankan working class.

The right-wing CWC, which is a hybrid political party and trade union based among Tamil-speaking plantation workers, was part of the previous United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government but defected to the opposition prior to the November 17 presidential election.

The first police raid was on November 25. A special Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team was sent from Colombo to search a youth centre run by the CWC-controlled Nuwara Eliya divisional council at Kotagala in the central plantation districts.

The pretext for the operation was to find evidence of misappropriation of funds allocated from the estate infrastructure ministry. According to police, they found a large stock of TVs, sewing machines, bicycles and roofing sheets meant for plantation workers and reported that the store had been rented by CWC MP V. Puthrasingamani.

The police sealed the store but no charges have been laid. Media reports, however, implied that the stock of goods had been obtained fraudulently.

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