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Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan tea workers call for government help

Poorest communities face a precarious existence as the Covid-19 crisis hits their meager income

UCA News reporter, Colombo

UCA News reporter, Colombo

Published: May 06, 2020 08:26 AM GMT

Updated: May 06, 2020 08:28 AM GMT

Sri Lankan tea workers call for government help

A Sri Lankan tea picker works on a plantation in the central town of Kandy. The workers are appealing for government financial aid after the coronavirus shattered their already poor incomes. (Photo: AFP)

Sri Lankan tea workers are urging the government to grant allowances to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic due to their low income.

Kalaichelvi Selvy said plantation workers, whose income levels are very low, are now facing a precarious existence.

"Like other people whose jobs have collapsed due to the coronavirus, there are no additional sources of income for tea workers. Because of that, they have to endure periods of unbearable stress," said Selvy, assistant secretary of the All Ceylon Estate Workers Union.

"We urge the government to provide a relief allowance of 5,000 rupees (US$27) for plantation workers." 

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