Planters' Association says no to abuse, disruption on estates
The Planters' Association of Ceylon (PA), in a press release this
week, strongly condemned repeated abusive behaviour towards estate
managers in the area by a local politician in the Uva Province.
The PA, the representative body of Sri Lanka's formal plantation
industry, expressed strong disapproval of the repeated use of
threatening and abusive language against estate managers in the presence
of estate workers by a local politician, and attempts to disrupt estate
activities through instigation of workers, go-slows and attempts to
block the transport of produce, that have resulted in business losses,
operational problems and threats to security on estates.
The PA maintains that such behaviour by a political representative of
the people is a blatant display of abuse of power, undermines democratic
processes and is harmful for the plantation industry and the overall Sri
The PA notes that the plantation industry is already facing financial
difficulties due to reduced tea prices, volatile market conditions in
Middle East and significant cost increases incurred through the recent
wage revision. Therefore, at a time when there is an imperative to
safeguard the viability of the vital plantation sector through the
cooperation of all stakeholders, destabilizing the plantation industry,
by instigating labour discontent and disrupting management and
operations of estates, will have immediate adverse consequences on the
plantation industry, plantation workers and families, and the Sri Lankan
The PA requests the fullest cooperation of all to overcome a crisis
situation, without which plantation companies will find it difficult to
meet their financial commitments including the wages and incentives of
The PA notes that the plantation industry is equipped with adequate
dispute resolution mechanisms to address any dispute in the industry, in
a democratic and transparent manner through dialogue, without resorting
to abusive language, physical threats, work disruption, physical
violence and destruction of national assets.
Therefore, the PA would like to call upon all stakeholders, including
trade unions and political representatives, to safeguard Sri Lanka's
centuries old plantation industry by using peaceful mechanisms in
addressing any industry related concerns.
The PA in turn would like to reiterate its support for plantation
workers, their families and the country and will work towards ensuring
industry stability through dialogue and cooperation.