Groundviews

Chaos in Colombo: Mêlée over jobs indicates a serious economic problem in Sri Lanka?

Anushka Wijesinha (who blogs here), a Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies, sent us these incredible photos and video of the chaos in Colombo today when thousands of Korean job seekers appeared for Korean exam applications at the Police Park down Havelock Road. Mainstream media reports a figure of 10,000, which going by the video and photos appear to be mostly young men.

In a speech by Dr. Anura Ekanayake, outgoing CCC chairman and IPS Board member, he noted that of the 4.5% unemployment rate overall in Sri Lanka, 18.1% of youth (age 15-24) are unemployed and within this around 10.7% of those qualified with A/Ls are unemployed.

Anushka observed that,

The route Anushka took down Havelock Road is plotted below, around 1.5km.


View Job applicants in a larger map

All photos above and the video by Anushka Wijesinha. More photos on Daily Mirror’s website.

Live updates from Anushka below.

At thummula, police park, no less than 2,500 youth queuing up for Korean job exams. Lot of pushing/shoving. Queue is close to 1km longless than a minute ago via txt Favorite Retweet Reply

Queue starts at vajira rd junction, goes right thru upto Thummulla junction, plus more along Lauries roadless than a minute ago via txt Favorite Retweet Reply

While overall unemployment in Sri Lanka maybe just 4.5%, youth unemployment is a staggering 18.1%less than a minute ago via txt Favorite Retweet Reply

At police park (thummulla) Korean job recruitment centre. Police informs that the centre is nw closed, 3,500 applicants. Crowd not happyless than a minute ago via txt Favorite Retweet Reply

Police just closed road from thummulla to thimbirigasyaya direction, anticipating a bit of unrest as the centre closes, queue turned awayless than a minute ago via txt Favorite Retweet Reply

Korea job seekers still queuing on havelock rd, major traffic jam. As long as this morning. Some seated atop trees.less than a minute ago via txt Favorite Retweet Reply

This despite foreign employment ministry request for job seekers to not all come to Colombo but go to any of the 29 other centres islandwideless than a minute ago via txt Favorite Retweet Reply