Monks Join Sri Lanka Pension Protest

Posted June 3rd, 2011 at 9:50 am (UTC-5)
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Hundreds of Buddhist monks took to the streets of Sri Lanka's capital on Friday to express solidarity with laborers protesting proposed changes to the government's pension plan.

The monks marched to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's residence, carrying placards and denouncing this week's government crackdown on demonstrators.

Clashes broke out between police and labor union demonstrators Monday during a protest at a free trade zone outside Colombo. Protestors threw stones at police who retaliated by shooting live rounds and tear gas. At least 200 people were injured and one protester was killed.

On Thursday, Sri Lanka's police chief resigned to take responsibility for the violent crackdown.

Labor unions say the government's pension proposal for private sector workers would hurt workers. The government has since suspended the plan.