Sri Lanka export zone to reopen Thursday

June 01, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Export Processing Zone next to the Katunayake international airport is to be reopened Thursday following violent protests by workers against a new government pension bill they opposed. The Board of Investment said it requests all employees attached to the enterprises in the zone, north of Colombo, to report to work as usual.

“The BOI will ensure that the facilities it provides to zone employees will be in place tomorrow,” the investment promotion agency in charge of the zone said in a statement.

“All steps have been taken to ensure a safe and secure environment for all zone operations with the resumption of work.”

A 22-year-old man was critically wounded in Monday’s protest and is on a life support system in hospital and 12 policemen were among 150 people wounded when protestors clashed with police who responded by opening fire.

The workers were protesting against a new pensions bill that would have deducted more money from their salaries.

The government promptly withdrew the pensions bill after the violence.