On Monday, approximately 270 employees of Swarnavahini TV participated in a meeting in the company’s car park, with the aim to form a union to fight for better working conditions. The meeting was scheduled during staff lunch hour, however at the end of the meeting the gates to the office were locked and they were blocked access. They reported the incident to the police, and when they were finally able to access the offices, 15 staff members found letters informing that they had been let go for ‘deliberately disrupting the business and operations’ and for using the company sound system at an unauthorized gathering.
Journalist Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi was obstructed from reporting on a protest by workers on a salt production site on January 23, 2019 in Habmantota, southern Sri Lanka. During the protest, a group claiming to be supporters of the country’s ruling United National Party started to intimidate and obstruct Hettiarachchi.