Sri Lankan professors march to demand pay hike

AP News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2012 5:29 AM
Sri Lankan professors march to demand pay hike

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Thousands of striking university academics in Sri Lanka are marching across the country to demand a pay increase and an increase in funding for education.

The three-month strike has crippled state-run universities, though they remain open.

More than 5,000 people are taking part in the five-day march from the city of Galle to Colombo, 110 kilometers (68 miles) away. On Tuesday they were passing through the town of in Kosgoda.

The professors and lecturers are demanding a 20 percent pay raise and greater academic freedom. They also want 6 percent of the country's gross domestic product to be allocated for education.

The government has agreed to some of the demands, but says it cannot grant the pay increase because it would create discrepancies and anomalies in the national salary structure.