Private buses on strike – Colombo, Kataragama, Galle, Matara among routes affected

Private buses on strike – Colombo, Kataragama, Galle, Matara among routes affected

Private buses on strike – Colombo, Kataragama, Galle, Matara among routes affected

Written by Staff Writer

18 Nov, 2016 | 4:17 pm

The strike action commenced by private bus operators has resulted in commuters being inconvenienced along several routes including the Galle Road.

News 1st correspondents stated that as a result, private bus operation on routes plying from Colombo to Kataragama, Tangalle, Matara, Galle, and Aluthgama have been disrupted.

Meanwhile, all luxury buses plying from Colombo to Matara have joined the strike action.

The strike action has been organised against the proposed minimum road traffic violation fine of Rs. 2,500.

Employees of private buses stated that they will engage in the strike action until a favourable solution is provided to them.

Convener of the All Island Private Bus Operators Association Kumara Rathna Renu Kaviththawa said, employees of private buses from Aluthgama to Ambalangoda and Kataragama that ply to Colombo, are participating in the strike action and that only one bus is in operation to transport people who are visiting patients at the Karapitiya hospital. All other bus employees are engaged in the strike action.

“A few rogue bus operators are operating their buses and we cannot force them to not operate”, he added, “If someone from the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association, or Gemunu Wijeratne says they are ready to pay the 2,500 rupee fine, and for us to operate our buses, we will then operate our buses”.

News 1st made an inquiry in this regard from the Chairman of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association, Gemunu Wijeratne.

In response to this, the Chairman of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association Gemunu Wijeratne said, the Minister has clearly stated that except for serious violation, such as driving under the influence of liquor, or for driving without a valid license, the road traffic violation fines will not be increased.

“We carried out discussions in this regard with the Minister and he made a clear statement”, he added, “An uninformed group of employees from the Aluthgama area are engaged in a strike action. However a number of buses are in operation under the leadership of the bus owners”.

He went on to note that he spoke to the operators on Thursday evening as well, but that they have failed to understand the situation.

“We will not leave room for the operators to be at a disadvantage”, he said, “Therefore, we clearly state, do not be confused about the existing situation. Please continue to operate your buses”.

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