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The United National Party (UNP) has called for the issuing of new regulations and the enactment of new laws in relation to addressing sudden, unannounced protests and especially strikes conducted without prior notice being given to the relevant authorities.
UNP MP Mohamed Mujibur Rahman said that for the past six months of 2017, there had been nearly 1,500 protests and strikes of various scale, which he had calculated the figure following a study of local newspapers.

He added that the majority of them, approximately 90% of them, were sudden ones conducted without prior notification being provided to the relevant Minister or authority and conducted sans their knowledge.

He added that most of such could have been resolved by way of discussions and negotiations. According to him, only a few protests and strikes, only a small percentage concerned the workers’ own problems and legitimate causes. He explained that although striking was generally the last resort after all other measures available had been exhausted or had failed, in these instances, it was only subsequent to striking that the strikers had participated in discussions and negotiations.

He pointed out that such was an indication that these were not genuine campaigns but ones with political agendas conducted with political backing.

He also noted that there were protests and strikes in which persons completely unconnected to the issue at hand had participated in.

“Protestors and strikers block roads and talk of democracy. Non-protestors or non-strikers are stuck in traffic and cannot go about their own affairs. In a democracy, one cannot violate another’s right. This is not a good situation. One cannot run a country this way. We require new regulations and laws in this regard,” Rahman further added. RLJ