Colombo, Aug 10 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s public transportation sector was plunged into a crisis as an islandwide train strike continued into its third day on Friday, leaving thousands of commuters stranded and depending on other modes of transportation.
The sudden strike was launched Wednesday afternoon by trade unions from the Sri Lanka Railways Department, who are demanding for higher salaries and better facilities for railway workers.
President Maithripala Sirisena, in a statement on Thursday urged the strikers to end their strike action and called on them to hold discussions with the government.
The President said the railway strike had caused severe hardships on the commuters and strikers should think about the rights of the public and take steps to solve their problems in an intelligent and humane manner.
Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, whilst condemning the sudden strike, said the government had increased the number of government buses on the road and the army had been called in to operate special buses especially for students who were sitting for their Advanced Level examinations.
He urged the railway trade unions to end the strike before holding discussions with the government.
Legislators from the ruling United National Party, in the meantime, said students sitting for examinations could use their ‘personal vehicles’ which would be deployed at certain points in Colombo so that they could reach examination centers on time.
A trade union official from the Sri Lanka Railways Department told newsin.asia, the ongoing strike would continue till the government accepted their demands.